Michael Wendt is superintendent to the biggest share in New York with just over 3000 students between the Newfane and Wilson districts. He was Wilson’s superintendent for 11 years before stepping in as superintendent to Newfane to “be a good neighbor.”
Newfane was running on a $3.4 million deficit when Wendt took over, which has steadily decreased. The two districts initially shared Wendt 49% – 51%, with Wilson being the majority stakeholder. The share has been reduced to four hours per week spent at Newfane, though Wendt said that that is only on paper and he still spends half of his time on Newfane matters.
Wendt is a firm believer in the shared superintendency model. “Incentive aid works against you,” Wendt said regarding money given to promote mergers, once the money runs out merged districts are often left struggling to stay afloat. One superintendent sharing two districts allows the districts to keep their identity and govern their children’s education by maintaining their own school boards, Wendt said.
Two superintendents sharing three districts is the ideal model, Wendt said. It allows each superintendent some downtime so they aren’t always on call.
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Michael S. Wendt – July 2013 – present; interim
Enrollment (2012-2013) – Budget
Newfane School District (Niagara County)1681 – 2013-2014 budget – $33.7 million
Wilson Schol District (Niagara County) 1296 – 2013-2014 budget – $24.3 million
Salary $146,763 with $58,410.59 in benefits, split between the two districts according to the Lockport Journal
Distance apart: 10 miles
White 95% 95%
Hispanic or Latino 2% 2%
Black 1% 1%
Multiracial 1% 1%
Eligible for Free Lunch 25% 25%
Eligible for Reduced Price Lunch 10% 9%
source: NYSED 2012-2013