MONTROSE, N.Y. – Hendrick Hudson Schools Superintendent Daniel McCann announced Wednesday afternoon he will retire at the end of the 2011-2012 school year.
The board will begin searching for a new superintendent immediately, and officials said in a press release there will be “no gap in leadership.”
“I am most proud of the performance of our students. In the classroom, on the stage, and on the athletic field our children have excelled,” said McCann, who has led the district for six years, in the release. “Lastly, I reflect back on a successful career. One defined by working with an extraordinary group of people who made the tough times easier, the good times brighter, and each day a pleasure. It has been a privilege to serve the people of Hen Hud. I will be forever thankful.”
While the board in the release lauded McCann’s accomplishments and commitment to the district’s strategic plan, critics point to financial and public relations problems that plagued the district during McCann's tenure.
“While it’s surprising, given the fact the bond issue failed by such a large margin and the district is having such difficulty meeting the tax levy cap, it’s not totally unexpected. I personally like Dr. McCann and I wish him all the best,” said John Mattis, member of a taxpayer’s group called Citizens for Quality Education and Common Sense. The group said they are lobbying for a responsible budget in the district and have been critical of its budgeting practices.
Since the bond referendum was presented to the community in September, the district suffered a debt downgrade by Moody’s in November, a two-to-one failure of a bond referendum in December and a February investigation into the staff of Hendrick Hudson High School for marijuana distribution among themselves. Officials said the marijuana investigation is ongoing but are unable to comment because of privacy issues.
District spokesperson Rick McCormack said the retirement had nothing to do with current events in the district and was something McCann had been considering for awhile.
“He wants to spend some time with his family and take some time for himself at this point,” McCormack said.
“Since 2006, Dr. McCann has served our district with distinction and honor. He has worked diligently to achieve the district's mission of maximizing student potential in a "dynamic, supportive and innovative educational community," said Board of Education President Marion Walsh in the release. “On behalf of the board of education, we thank Dr. McCann for his years of service and for always putting our students first. “We will miss his dedication, commitment and leadership and wish him the best in retirement.”