Harper new Mayfield superintendent

Christopher Harper

MAYFIELD — Mayfield Central School District named Christopher Harper as its new superintendent on Tuesday.

“I am honored and humbled to be selected to lead the Mayfield Central School District,” Harper said. “I look forward to working with the board, staff, students and community. I believe strongly in the importance of developing partnerships across the school community and working together to support our students and schools.”

Harper replaces Kathy Dougherty, who served as the district’s interim superintendent since November after Jon Peterson stepped down from the position in October.

Harper’s start date as the new superintendent is July 8, at the starting salary of $145,000, according to a news release.

He currently holds a position as elementary school principal at the Unadilla Valley Central School District in New Berlin.

In the release, Harper said his top priority will be to listen to the community, students, faculty and staff.

“It’s all about listening, observing and learning. Working with the board of education, we will establish long-term planning for overall school success,” Harper said. “I need to learn what makes Mayfield, the home of the Panthers, special.”

Board of Education President Ernie Clapper said he was pleased with the board’s selection of Harper out of five finalists interviewed for the position.

“Mayfield was pleaded to have a very competitive filed for our superintendent search, ad due to the quality of applicants, the process was a difficult and time consuming one. We conducted our search under the guidance of District Superintendent Anita Murphy,” Clapper said. “We as a board and district welcome Mr. Harper to Mayfield. He has a strong knowledge of education and how the process works, ad is very student centered. He is an enjoyable person to know, and I look forward to the impact his positive philosophy and energy will bring to our district.”

Hamilton Fulton Montgomery Board of Cooperative Educational Services along with MCSD BOE began conducting the search for the new superintendent in February. There were two forums held to gather preferred characteristics of the new superintendent from the community and staff members.

Harper holds a bachelor’s degree in speech communication from the State University of New York at Cortland, Cortland, NY, and a master’s of science degree in special education from the College of St. Rose in Albany. He earned his advanced certificate of school administration from SUNY Cortland.

He is also a graduate of Future Superintendents Academy through the Leadership for Educational Achievement Foundation.

Harper began his educational career as a tutor for the Rome City School District and then worked as a special education teacher at Staley Junior High School in Rome. He then served as an elementary special education teacher at Annsville Elementary School in Taberg.

He served as principal at the Westmoreland Elementary School in Whitesboro and elementary principal and curriculum coordinator at the Madison Central School District in Madison before coming to his most recent position at Unadilla Valley in 2012.