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Skaneateles board of education appoints interim superintendent

Dr. Judy Pastel to take the reins July 1

— The Skaneateles Board of Education unanimously appointed Dr. Judy Pastel as interim superintendent effective July 1, a position to last for one year.

Pastel, who has 40 years of experience in education, previously served 15 years as superintendent of the Ithaca City Schools, and is just completing a six-month term as interim superintendent in Trumansburg, N.Y.

The board interviewed three external candidates for the interim position, all of whom had more than 20 years of superintendent experience, but it was Pastel who seemed like the best fit for Skaneateles, said BOE President Evan Dreyfuss.

“Dr. Pastel brings a wealth of information and experience to our students and our district,” Dreyfuss said. “The school board looks forward to working with her for the next year as we conduct a search for a permanent superintendent.”

Outgoing Superintendent Phil D’Angelo, who leaves Skaneateles June 30 after accepting a position as superintendent of the Wantagh Union Free School District on Long Island, said Pastel was in Skaneateles on June 19 and he spent four-and-a-half hours with her discussing her upcoming issues and responsibilities, meeting staff and students and touring all four district school buildings.

“I think it was a good introduction to our district,” D’Angelo told the board at its June 19 meeting.

Pastel has already begun planning her move to Skaneateles, and said her experience in Trumansburg has taught her much about being an interim. “You have to go up that learning curve very fast,” she said, “knowing you have a short period of time to make a difference.”

Pastel said she expects to begin her time in Skaneateles with “a lot of listening” while meeting with teachers, parents and community members to understand their priorities.

Pastel is a graduate of Liverpool High School, has her master’s degree in elementary education from SUNY Cortland and a doctorate from the University of Virginia in administration and supervision with supporting fields in curriculum and special education administration.

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