James Picolla serves part-time as Owen D. Young’s superintendent and part-time BOCES director of personnel. The previous full-time superintendent also served as principal, however after Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) changes, the district decided to hire a part-time superintendent for the necessary tasks and have a full-time principal serve as the community leader.
Picolla said while there are fiscal savings, the real benefits he said are the opportunities to children. The estimated $104,000 savings are used towards instructional improvements. Picolla said that his employment at BOCES has provided open communications and new insight for the organization to better serve schools. BOCES employees come to Picolla as a colleague rather than a client he said, which allows them to strengthen their relationship to districts. As a BOCES employee, Picolla is contracted out to Owen D. Young for a salary of $56,650 per year. The district and BOCES split his benefits package.
While the sharing of superintendents between districts is slightly more common, sharing one with a BOCES is unique to this arrangement. All the shared superintendents seem to be concerned with the “burnout factor.” The superintendents interviewed said that each job is full-time and only part-time on paper.
Picolla credits the success of this arrangement to his support staff. He does the necessary paperwork a superintendent is responsible for but he is not the face of the district, which would make the job tremendously more difficult, he said. He is able to do work for both of his jobs from both desks and has a flexible schedule.
Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) provide shared educational programs and services to school districts within New York State. While the functions vary from BOCES to BOCES, they are generally responsible for special and alternative education, regional planning and some administrative duties. The Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES, which Picolla works for provides transportation, pre-k, career tech, online learning and shares three teachers and a business manager with the district.
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James Picolla – November 2012 – Present
Enrollment (2012-2013) – Budget
Owen D. Young Central School District (Herkimer County) 190 – 2013-2014 budget – $5.52 million
Salary: $56,650 Part-time superintendent, part-time Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES human resources director.
White – 97%
Hispanic or Latino- 3%
Black or African American – 1%
Eligible for Free Lunch – 32%
Reduced Price Lunch – 14%
source: NYSED 2012-2013
Costs Pre-2010: ($343,000 annual expense) Full-Time Superintendent/Principal, Full-Time Assistant Principal, Full-Time Business Administrator
Costs 2012-2013 present: ($239,000 annual expense): Part-Time Superintendent, Part-Time Business Official, Full-Time Principal
Fiscal savings applied to: 0.2 math coach, 0.2 ELA coach, 0.2 CSE chairperson, 0.5 Music, 0.5 PE, 0.5 Social Studies