The Council of School Superintendents

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James O'Connell, Executive Director 1989

James O’Connell, Dean of the School of Education at SUNY New Paltz and a former superintendent in two Hudson Valley school districts became the next Executive Director in 1989. Jim turned a scholarly eye toward The Council's conferences and professional development.

He and his staff enhanced the conference offerings and developed the faculty and curriculum that became the Superintendents Academy.

Their professional development efforts didn’t end there. Using relationships with his alma mater, Jim developed the Summer Institute at Harvard University. Designed to take advantage of the Cambridge location, it became an opportunity for New York superintendents to learn from the best educators at Harvard and in the Bay area.

This was also a time of increased stature for New York within the national superintendents’ organization. Dan Domenech, district superintendent in Eastern Suffolk BOCES, was elected as president of the American Association of School Administrators. Jim also concluded that The Council's advocacy efforts required the attention of a dedicated staff person.

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