West Seneca Superintendent delaying retirement

Jan 9, 2017

The leader of the West Seneca School Central School District will be delaying his planned retirement.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says Superintendent Mark Crawford will hold off to give the school board more time to conduct a search.   

“They asked if I would stay through the month of May, so that’s where we stand at this time,” explained Crawford.

Superintendent Crawford has spent more than 16 years in the West Seneca District, the last six-and-a-half as the superintendent. He announced his retirement in November and was planning to leave the District by March 3rd. But the school board has asked Crawford to wait until May as they work to find a replacement

West Seneca Central Schools Superintendent Mark Crawford hosted NYSED Commissioner MaryEllen Elia in March of 2016.
Credit WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley

“I’m not leaving because I’m unhappy. I’ve loved it, and in fact, I have some mixed emotions, which is why when they asked me if I’d consider staying for a few more months, it was pretty easier for me to answer in the affirmative,” Crawford remarked.   

The 65-year-old Crawford has been in education for 43 years. He tells us that after having heart surgery last May, he gave much thought to retiring.

“I take a different look at life now because of what I went through in May last year, and you know, I think I’ve been a fairly reflective person over the years, but that kind of event and subsequent things that happened that I've dealt with make you even more reflective and you appreciate your time more than you ever did,” said Crawford.

WBFO asked Crawford what advise he would give to the next superintendent.  

Students at the Alledale Elementary School in West Seneca in March of 2016.
Credit WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley

“One thing we’re not interested in functioning as a bureaucracy," replied Crawford. "We are a large organization, but the corner stone of any school district is the relationship among all of the people – the children, the parents, staff members and community members – so that’s number one.  And I think the other, for a leader, is to consult broadly and try to get use from the collective brain as much as you can.”

Crawford oversees nine schools and 6,600 students.  The District has advertised to hire search consultants and proposals are expected to be reviewed this week. The school board meets Monday evening and is expected to outline their search efforts.