Originally posted on June 24, 2020
The Ichabod Crane Board of Education has officially appointed Suzanne Guntlow as the next District Superintendent of Schools, effective July 1, 2020. The Board unanimously supported Ms. Guntlow’s appointment at a special board meeting on June 23, 2020.
Last month Ms. Guntlow expressed her interest in applying for the position to the Board and in response they engaged the services of the Western New York Educational Service Council to assist with an official interview process. With assistance from WNYESC, the Board conducted a thorough consideration of Ms. Guntlow as a candidate, which included direct interviews with her and speaking with multiple district-level stakeholders in recent weeks.
Already a long time Ichabod Crane employee, Ms. Guntlow began her career in the district as the Primary School Principal in December 2013. In July 2017 she shifted to district administrator when she took on the role of Principal of APPR, Professional Development, Curriculum & Instruction and was eventually appointed Assistant Superintendent in March 2019. Additionally, Ms. Guntlow has assumed the role of Acting Superintendent in the past when former Superintendent, Michael Vanyo, was on leave.
When asked why she felt this was the time to apply for the superintendent position, Ms. Guntlow said, “It was the right thing to do for the district as a whole to ensure uninterrupted services for our staff and families. It also felt like the right next step for me in a district I’ve been with and cared deeply about for a long time.”
“Through my years and various administrative roles here, I’ve seen the district go through many changes and have a thorough understanding of both its strengths and needs,” she went on to say. Additionally, Ms. Guntlow mentioned her existing professional relationships with most of the district staff means they know her working style and know she’s committed to Ichabod Crane long term.
“I’m excited to take on a leadership role in a district where I’ve already experienced its amazing internal support network and the dedication of its students, as well as their families.”
Ms. Guntlow steps into her new role after an eventful few years in Ichabod Crane between public voting on a large Capital Improvement Project, some administrative turnover and the abrupt shift to remote learning this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Addressing her plans for the immediate weeks and months, Ms. Guntlow says that she’s looking to provide continued stability and support for students and staff as the district addresses the current ongoing changes as well as any unknown future ones. What the 2020-2021 school year will look like is uncertain for every district, but she says she plans to spend the summer with all Ichabod Crane stakeholders – including parents/caregivers, teachers, staff and administration – ensuring the district is ready for whatever the next couple months bring.
“In recent years our school community has dealt with a lot of big moments in rapid succession. Through all of them, the Ichabod Crane staff managed to quickly adjust and keep the district on course to meet its goals, support its students and collaborate with the surrounding community. These last few years have shown that this district truly is all in it together and is very adept at handling the unexpected.”
Ms. Guntlow will succeed current Superintendent, Jason D. Thomson, who has served in the role since February 2020 and will continue leading the district until Ms. Guntlow’s official start date of July 1, 2020.