With a focus on communication, building relationships and relying on data, a finalist for the Waterville Central School District superintendent job made her case to lead the district.
Dr. Jennifer Spring, who grew up in New Hartford, recently retired as superintendent of the Cohoes City School District near Albany. In her one-hour virtual forum, Spring said she was excited to extend her career at Waterville.
Spring is the first candidate announced during the second search for a superintendent to replace Chuck Chafee, who retired at the end of June. MPS Principal Maureen Gray and now interim Superintendent Dr. Kathy Davis have been filling in while the search resumed.
Spring’s career includes five and a half years leading Cohoes, and before that 10 years as principal of New Hartford High School, and 10 years as an administrator in the Utica City School District. Her educational background includes studying at SUNY Cortland, Boston University and Syracuse University, and she is a Fulbright Scholar.
Spring is both familiar with Waterville and the process of applying for superintendent. She applied in 2012 when Chafee was hired. “He was the right choice at the right time,’’ Spring said, saying that it allowed her to go to Cohoes when that job opened.
Her successes in Cohoes - which she repeatedly said came from the many stakeholders working together in the district - include bringing the graduation rate from the mid-70s to the mid-80s. She said that was one of her proudest accomplishments.
Another was a program set up four years ago to identify 25 at-risk students with…