Westfield superintendent Davison makes retirement official

David Davison

WESTFIELD — The Westfield Academy and Central School District will soon be looking for its next superintendent.

Westfield Academy and Central School Superintendent David Davison officially announced his intention to retire at the end of the year during the regular meeting of the board of education this week.

Davison, 59, took over as superintendent in May, 2012. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank you (the board of education),” he said. “After 31 years in education, I can’t think of a better place to end my career.”

Davison will submit an official letter of retirement in November. His date of retirement, Dec. 1, marks the end of his current contract.

Letters regarding a search for a new superintendent have already gone out, said board President Steve Cockram. The board approved a motion to appoint Dr. David O’Rourke, district superintendent of schools, Erie 2 Chautauqua-Cattaraugus County BOCES, as search consultant for the position of a new superintendent.

“Legally, we as a district, cannot operate without a superintendent,” Cockram said. “We will be looking to use David O’Rourke’s services.”

Davison said it has been “and honor and a pleasure” to serve Westfield as superintendent for the past seven years. “I’d like to thank the staff, parents, community, and board for all of their support as we worked to provide the best education possible for our students,” he said. “WACS will always have a special place in my heart and I will miss the children and staff very much.”

Davison’s announcement of this retirement comes only a short time after secondary principal Ivana Hite announced her retirement, effective September 30, in April. The district has hired Bethany Schill, currently serving as middle school principal in the Lackawanna School District, to replace her.

In a related matter, the board also accepted with regret, the resignation of technology coordinator and math teacher Lynn Manzella, effective August 30. Manzella, who has 26 years with the district, will be retiring.

In other business, board member Brenda Backus updated the board on plans for future capital projects. The committee met a number of time with the architectural firm and construction management team, she said. “Our goal continues to be a zero tax impact,” she said. “We continue to move forward with that process and will meet again in two weeks.”

Secondary Principal Ivana Hite told board members that 57 students graduated this year. Fourteen of these students are members of the National Honor Society and four students are members of the National Technology Society, she said.

Hite said that, after review, the “student of the month” award was being change to be the “Wolverine of the month” award. “We felt that it was time not only to recognize good grades, but to give it more of a whole-student character,” she said.

Hite also said that 15 students were attending the APEX program, which is an online credit recovery program. Participants in the program usually complete the course work just before the Regents exams take place, she said.

The board approved the appointment of Jordan Brendel and Victoria Snyder. Each holds certification in childhood education and will undergo a probationary period in the special education tenure area.