WELLS - The incoming superintendent at Wells Central School says he's looking forward to downsizing - from working for a district with about 1,000 students to one with fewer than 200.
School officials Tuesday announced they've selected Thomas Sincavage, the principal at Canajoharie Middle School and the school district's curriculum coordinator, to be the next superintendent in Wells.
Sincavage will begin the position July 1, pending Board of Education approval May 16. He will replace interim Superintendent John Zeis, who has led the district the last two school years.
"The big appeal to me was the smaller setting and being able to have my hands in all facets of the district because of the size," he said.
At Wells, which draws students from four small towns, he will serve not only as the top district administrator but also the building principal.
"I get the best of both worlds," he said. "I'll get my feet wet in the superintendent job but still have day-to-day interaction with teachers and students."
In Wells, he'll find a district with fewer than 20 students in each grade but with a graduation rate higher than 85 percent the last six years, including 95 percent last year, which he says plays to his strong points.
"My biggest strength is definitely in instruction and assessment," he said.
"The Board of Education is very pleased that we could attract such an outstanding candidate to be our new superintendent of schools," Wells school board President Cathie Rust said in a statement.
Sincavage has a bachelor's degree from the State University of New York at Oswego and a master's degree and administrator's certificate from SUNY Albany. He taught math at the Mexico Academy & Central School in Oswego County and in Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk and Canajoharie schools before becoming middle school principal in 2006.
Sincavage, who will continue to live in Canajoharie, said he is still negotiating his salary and benefits with the Board of Education. The district advertised the salary range at $95,000 to $110,000. Sincavage earned $93,041 in the 2011 calendar year, according to public records.
Sincavage was chosen over two other principals: James Christopher of Gloversville Middle School and Bill Crankshaw, the elementary principal in Northville.
Zeis has served as Wells' interim superintendent three times since retiring as superintendent in Hudson Falls. His third stint began in June 2010, and he agreed to lead the district until the completion of a merger study with the Lake Pleasant Central School District, which already sends most of its high-school students to Wells.
He'll leave the district July 1.
Three other school districts are seeking superintendents.
Gloversville has been without a permanent schools chief since Robert DeLilli left for the same job in Johnstown at the end of the last school year. Wheelerville Union Free School in Caroga lost its superintendent in March when David Carr resigned abruptly and without public explanation. Fonda-Fultonville's superintendent, James Hoffman, will be leaving for the same job in Averill Park at the end of the school year.
Bill Pitcher is the city editor and can be reached at email@example.com.