The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

December 6, 2012

ACSD, Bonnewell ready to move forward

By Jim Krencik
Medina Journal-Register

Medina Journal-Register — ALBION — The Albion Central School District is set to secure another part of the district’s long-term plans — ensuring that the district’s leader continues to play a major role in moving Albion forward.

The school’s board of education discussed a contract extension for Superintendent Michael Bonnewell on Monday that Board President Margy Brown said will be signed at the board’s next meeting. The contract runs through the end of the 2015-16 school year.

Bonnewell was hired in 2010 to replace the retiring Ada Grabowski, who served 18 years at Albion. Brown said the board is looking forward to keeping Bonnewell in Albion for a similar tenure.

“During the search, our major goal was someone who’d be here long-term and I believe we found that in (Bonnewell),” Brown said. “We looked for someone with a vision to lead the district forward in the future.”

Bonnewell has gotten to know the school’s culture over the past two years. He’s looking forward to continuing the work that started before him, while adapting to demographic and policy challenges, be it the annual professional performance reviews or the common core standards being expanded to more subjects in the coming years.

“We’re looking at continued and significant changes,” Bonnewell said at his office Wednesday. “We’re well equipped for it, our ability to change bodes well for us.”

Bonnewell came to Albion from the Schroon Lake Central School District in the Adironacks, where he served in a variety of administrative positions at the 250-student school.

“The size of the district has been an adjustment, but the volume of change is the same,” Bonewell said. “There’s always something new — it continues to be a new job everyday.”

Brown noted Bonnewell’s fiscal abilities and knowledge of interpreting the myriad new education laws as major strengths that he has brought to the district.

“We’ve been very pleased,” Brown said.

Bonnewell said he intends to provide fiscal discipline while maintaining the district’s core principles for student opportunities.

“(Programs like Community as School, service learning and the planned land lab) provide real, genuine experiences and a connection to the community,” Bonnewell said. “Those are real, hands-on applications ... we need to continue to make that available.”

The board has agreed to the terms of the contract, pending a final review by the district’s attorneys. Bonnewell will be paid $156,528 in the 2013-14 school year, with 2 percent increases for each of the next two years.

Contact reporter Jim Krencik at 798-1400, ext. 6327.