CHAMPLAIN — If Carthage had not offered an opportunity, Peter Turner would be staying at Northeastern Clinton Central School, but it did, so the superintendent is leaving to add to the 18 years he already spent at Carthage Central School District.
“I have enjoyed my time here at Northeastern Clinton, and I have no regrets coming here,” Turner said. “It was a good experience for my family and me, and if the opportunity had not worked out in Carthage I would be content staying here.”
Turner’s last day at Northeastern Clinton Central School is June 30.
The school district is searching for an interim superintendent to serve until roughly November.
“That is the estimate for when a permanent person would be appointed,” said Turner, who earned $136,000 yearly.
The school district is first offering the interim position to an internal employee but will advertise broadly if that does now work out.
Turner entered education with a desire to work with students and young adults; he’s never regretted his career choice and enjoyed his years in the classroom, as well as being a principal and superintendent, he said.
He began his career as a social studies teacher at Carthage Middle and High School from 1985 to 1996.
He served as high school principal from July 2000 to 2007.
In 2007, he left to take over as superintendent of Northeastern Clinton Central School.
“I was here five years,” Turner said. “I have no regrets and have enjoyed Northeastern Clinton Central School and Clinton County. This was an opportunity.”
He’ll miss the district’s “quality employees, hard-working professionals and students.”
Northeastern’s students are very well behaved, he said.
He worked in Carthage 18 years, and the area and school district always held a special place in his heart.
“It’s the only place I would have applied,” he said. “Nowhere else.”
Turner starts at Carthage on July 1. He will be paid $150,000 annually.
He believes he leaves Northeastern Clinton a more efficient operation, but the educational challenges facing the district include a declining population and vanishing state aid revenues.
The new annual reviews for educators will also be considerable challenge, Turner said. He believes the state rolled that program out too quickly.
Plattsburgh City School was one of five districts across the state that were supposed to devise and pilot a new evaluation tool, but due to the federal Race to the Top program and the state was forced to do implement the in short order.
Districts have been scrambling to devise their own systems, which has required significant investments of time and resources.
Ultimately, it comes down to the students, Turner said. He believes they will perform if treated with respect.
“You have to try a variety of things when you educate a child,” Turner said. “It is not like a factory where you can adjust the speed of the assembly line. Every child is different.”