Pine Valley District’s loss is an opportunity

Superintendent positions are never easy to fill, especially in our county that is oversaturated with rural school districts. Last week, the OBSERVER reported Pine Valley is losing its leader of the last four years in Scott Payne.

As with any leadership position, decisions Payne made did not always sit well with the staff or Board of Education. But he provided solid leadership and guided the district through some rough times — in terms of morale and finances.

His work is being rewarded as he will begin his new role as superintendent and chief executive officer of Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES on July 1. “I would be remiss if I didn’t say how much I value my experience at Pine Valley and the people here,” he said in announcing the transition. “There are so many people who care about the district. It’s a beautiful place, and our staff and teachers really care about our kids. This place is like a family, and I will miss it.”

Pine Valley’s board, of course, now seeks a new superintendent. In a district with a decreasing enrollment and tax base, the job could be a tough sell for candidates. Maybe this is another opportunity for a shared position with another neighboring district.

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