Mains Honored At Last School Board Meeting; Search Underway

Jamestown School Board President Paul Abbott, left, presents Superintendent Tim Mains with a portrait. Tuesday’s meeting was Mains’ last with the school district. P-J photo by Katrina Fuller

Superintendent Tim Mains attended his last Jamestown Board of Education meeting Tuesday night.

Mains recently accepted another position as superintendent of Pine Bush Central School District in Orange County, N.Y. Mains has been with the Jamestown Public Schools District since 2013.

Board President Paul Abbott unveiled a portrait of Mains, which will be hung in the board of education room at the administration building.

“Tim certainly hit the ground running when he arrived here,”Abbott said. “Even before Mr. Kathman left, Tim was already working hard on his plans for the districts, and that certainly never stopped in his time here. I think he hit the ground running, and is continuing to run and I’m sure right up until the day he moves on he’ll continue to give his best effort for the district.”

Abbott said he and the board appreciates the efforts Mains put forth during his time with the district.

Mains said he is amazed at what kids and adults can and have done over his years at the district.

“It was suggested to me in my letter of resignation that I recount the things that have happened,” he said.

“I certainly don’t think they happened because I was superintendent necessarily, but I was here when they happened. To the degree that I got them started, or supported them or just got to bask in the glory of a state championship football team and two state championships for our band, when I made the list I was astounded. I still found things I left off.”

Mains said he feels positive about what is currently happening in Jamestown, and part of him wants to stay and watch.

“But, I’ll watch it from the other side of the state,” he said. “I believe that what we have going right now is a very good, positive momentum that will continue. I’m very confident in Sylvia Root’s ability to keep the ship moving in the direction it is currently moving and I believe the board is very anxious for this district that will have a similar philosophy of making sure that we’re addressing the very important challenges that face our children.”

A reception was held after the meeting in honor of Mains’ departure.

As for the new superintendent search, Abbott said the process is moving along and expects it to gain momentum as time continues.

“We have to select a consultant to assist us in that,” he said. “I would expect that again, in March, we’re going to be moving forward with that,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll have some things advertised through various professional periodicals, and then, we’ll start getting in some resumes and filtering through those. My hope would be that we would be interviewing some people by April.

Of course, my hope would be to have somebody in place by the first of July, but our goal would be to have somebody in place by the time the school year starts on Sept. 1.”

However, Abbott said it is more important to spend the right amount of time finding the right person. He said he isn’t sure if the board will use the same process that was used in the previous search for a superintendent, pointing out that some circumstances have changed since that time.

“I think every situation is unique,” he said. “Certainly, I would want some level of community input again, but as far as marrying to exactly what we did last time, I can say I wasn’t the president when we went through the last process.”

He said he thought the last process was a “great effort and a very good process,” but the board will seek guidance from whichever consultant is chosen for the search.

“We have a somewhat different board than we had then, and a different president than we had then,” Abbott said. “That’s an idea I’m open to, but again, it’s about whatever I think and the board feels is the best route for picking the best superintendent.”

Abbott also gave a brief update on the budget process. He said Sylvia Root, interim superintendent, made herself available and has worked with Mains over the last month to get up to speed.

“When Sylvia is back in the district next month, I would expect we are going to be marching out sort of where we are on the budget, and some of it of course is waiting for all the state projections to be finalized,” he said. “The governor does have his proposals out there, but of course, we still have to make sure when they finalize the budget that things are what they say they will be.”

The board also heard the third presentation on transgender students given by Mains, however, Abbott said a policy has not yet come to fruition.

“I think the first step to any sort of policy is gathering as much information as you can,” he said. “Certainly we’re going to look to the courts, and the decisions they render as far as this goes and sort of use that for guidance, as Mr. Mains suggested. We certainly have to comply with anything the courts require us to do, but of course, as it is with any state or municipality, you can afford rights that go beyond what you are required to provide under federal and state law.”

Abbot said the matter will have to be discussed with the board, and they will move carefully forward with it.

“It is a new arena for all of us to look at,” he said. “Again, I think we will look to the courts, and sort of wait for a little while and see how these things play out in the courts to make sure we’re in compliance. I agree with Mr. Mains suggestion that there are going to be times when we are going to want to look at everything on a case-by-case basis, and I don’t think it is always wise to paint with a broad stroke when you’re coming up with how you’re going to handle anything.”