WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — The Watertown City School District Board of Education has selected three candidates to move onto the next step of the Superintendent recruitment process, according to a press release from the school district.

The board said the candidates being considered for the position include Mr. Robert Finster, Mr. Tom Jennings and Mr. Larry Schmiegel.

Robert Finster

Finster has served as the superintendent of Harrisville Central District since 2013. Prior to that, he served as principal at the school from 2010 until filling the superintendent role. Finster previously held teaching and administrative positions at Jefferson-Lewis BOCES, Madison-Oneida BOCES and Watertown City School District.

Tom Jennings

Jennings has served as the superintendent of Pulaski Academy and Central School District since 2018. He was superintendent of Schenevus Central School District in the Catskills from 2012-2018. Prior to that, Jennings was the principal at Schenevus Central School District and a high school social studies teacher at Oneonta City School District.

Larry Schmiegel

Schmiegel has served as the high school principal in Monroe County School District in Key West, FL since 2016. He previously held positions as the elementary school principal at Oswego City School District and administrator in the Syracuse City School District. Schmiegel grew up in Chittenango.

The board of education will be seeking feedback from the school community regarding the candidates. Second round stakeholder sessions are scheduled for January 19.

Each candidate will participate in a series of sessions with the district’s staff, students and community. Participants will be able to ask the candidates questions. Members of the community will have a chance to meet the candidates at community interview sessions scheduled an hour apart beginning at 6:15 p.m. on January 19 in the auditorium at Watertown High School.

The board of education is encouraging community members to participate in the sessions. The board will review written comments collected from participants to use in the final decision-making process.

The board said the decision to select a superintendent is one of the most important decisions a board of education will ever make.

One of the most important decisions that a Board of Education will ever make is the recruitment and selection of a Superintendent of Schools. This decision will not only impact our faculty, staff, and students, but also our entire community. This is a responsibility that we as members of the Board of Education take very seriously. Over the past several months the Board has embarked on a process to recruit a new Superintendent. The Superintendent’s vacancy was advertised widely in professional journals and newsletters throughout New York State. At the close of the recruitment period, candidates had submitted letters of interest, resumes, and credentials for this position. Each member of the Board reviewed the application materials of each candidate. Following a discussion of each candidate’s credentials the Board selected a group of individuals for personal interviews. At the conclusion of the initial interviews, the Board discussed their impressions of each candidate. As a result of this discussion, the Board has selected the following three (3) candidates to move on to the next step of the recruitment process.

Watertown City School District Board of Education via press release