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Castallo and Silky LLC in the News

Castallo & Silky LLC is listed as one of the major school superintendent search firms by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA).  AASA is the national school superintendents' professional organization.


The Watertown, N.Y. Daily Times reported in its June 19, 2017 edition that the Massena Central School District had hired Alan Pole and Jessica Cohen (associates at Castallo & Silky LLC) to conduct a study of the district's grade and building configuration.  The article mentions that this study is a follow-up to a 2014 building consolidation study that was completed for the district.  Then it a follow-up article on July 6th, the Daily Times describes an initial meeting with the Massena Board of Education that outlined the study process and formation of a stakeholder Advisory Committee. The North Country Now News on July 7th also indicated the Board was looking for volunteers to serve on the Advisory Committee and in a follow-up article on August 17th the names of the committee members were offered.  See who will be on the commttee to assist Alan and Jessica during this study.


The Ft. Edward UFSD (N.Y.) Board of Education has asked Castallo & Silky LLC to discuss possible future options for the district in terms of possibly consolidating the district with another district or perhaps sharing services with other school districts.  The Glens Falls Post-Star reported in its June 13, 2017 edition that a meeting has been arranged with a representative of the consulting firm to discuss a possible study to examine these issues.  


The Sun, a newspaper from Northern New York, reported on May 11, 2017 the Bill Silky and Alan Pole of Castallo & Silky LLC had kicked off a merger study of the Elizabethtown-Lewis and Westport Central School districts at a joint meeting of the two school districts' Boards of Education.  The article describes the timeline for the study and the role of the Advisory Committee.  An aritcle in the May 16th Plattsburg Press Republican reported that the Board of Education is appointing an Advisory Committee to work with the consultants and a follow-up article on May 21st outlines what was covered at the initial meeting of the boards.. This full merger study is a follow-up to a pre-merger study involving the two districts and one other area school district that was completed last year.  The Plattsburgh Press Repulbican editorial on June 15th urged people in the districts to not judge the merger until the study has been complete and the plan for a merged district is developed. In a follow-up article on August 15th, the Sun reported that the first meeting of the Advisory Committee was holding its first meeting on August 23rd.  Read what the Advisory Committee will cover during the meeting.


The Olean (NY)Times Herald reported on November 19, 2016 that Alan Pole, senior associate with Castallo & Silky LLC has been hired to assist the local school district's Board of Education in its efforts to hire a new Superintendent of Schools.  The Board President was quoted as saying that Alan was selected from three competing firms and he was chosen due to his strong references. Then in its January 12, 2017 edition, the Times Herald indicated that the retiring Superintendent, Ms. Colleen Taggerty, has agreed to extend her contract to allow the district to have a smooth transition to the new Superintendent.  The Times Herald, on February 24, 2017, reported the results of a stakeholder survey invite participants to share thoughts on desired attributes of the next Superintendent with the Board.  Read what these stakeholders thought was most important. And, on May 9, 2017, the Salamanca Press reported that the Olean School Board appointed Mr. Rick Moore, a former Superintendent in Salamanca but currently Superintendent in Belleville-Henderson Central Schools near Watertown, as its new Superintendent. The paper then reported in its June 2, 2017 edition how the search this time in Olean differed from the previous Superintendent search when Colleen Taggerty was hired.  Finally, on July 12, 2017 the paper describes the contracted salary of the new Superintendent.


Alan Pole and Bill Silky of Castallo & Silky LLC conducted a school facility/grade reorganization study for the Unatego Central School District during the 2015-16 school year.  The study final report was issued in the spring of 2016.  The Oneonta (N.Y.) Daily Star reported on February 13, 2017 that the school board endorsed the study's recommendation to close the Otego Elementary School as part of a long-range plan to continue providing a quality education to resident students, in appropriate facilities, especially during these difficult financial times.   Read the article and find out why the Board made this decision.


Ithaca.com reported on February 4, 2017 that the Trumansburg Central School District Board of Education is ready to make its final decision regarding its grade configuration and capital improvements.  This decision is based on a study completed last fall by associates Alan Pole and Bill Silky of Castallo & Silky LLC.  The article outlines the various options the study examined as well as the final recommendation that was offered for Board consideration.  Read the article and see the options before the Board and the consultants recommended path.


The Rome (N.Y.) Sentinel, in its December 22, 2016 issue, tells how the local City School Board is discussing hiring Castallo & Silky LLC to further its redistricting efforts.  Unfortunately due to other commitments, we have since withdrawn from consideration. The January 10, 2017 article in the Rome Sentinel notes that the district will continue to move forward with this study regardless.


The Sun Community News from Northern New York announced that the school boards of Elizabethtown-Lewis and Wesport Central School Districts would be meeting on November 30, 2016 to discuss a possible merger study of the two districts.  These two districts along with a third had Castallo & Silky LLC conduct a pre-merger study of the three districts and one finding indicated these two districts would likely be the best fit.  Read this article here.  An editorial in the Plattsburg Press Republican on December 18th praised the school boards for taking the bold step of looking at the merger issue.  Read this editiorial here.


The Binghamton (NY) area Press Connect on May 31, 2016 reported that Jeffrey Ahearn had been hired as its next Superintendent of Schools.  Alan Pole of  Castallo and Silky LLC worked with the Vestal Central School District Board of Education on its superintendent search. Ahearn replaces Mark LaRoach who is retiring after six years leading the district.


The Daily Star in Oneonta, NY on April 29, 2016 announced that Alan Pole of Castallo & Silky LLC would be conducting the Superintendent search for the Cooperstown Central School District Board of Education.  The article also tells how Alan was selected from a recommendation of the interim superintendent.  What the article does not say is that Alan was the consultant when the now deceased superintendent was hired a few years ago. 


On February 11, 2013, the New York State School Boards Association presented Dr. Silky's thoughts on school districts conducting a pre-merger study prior to engaging in a full study.  Dr. Silky's article encourages school boards to follow the lead of four Seneca County districts that invited Castallo & Silky LLC to do a pre-merger study that explored eight possible options and resulted in recommending only three as feasible and deserving of further in-depth study.  



Dr. Silky advises school boards to carefully study some important variables before embarking on a school district merger study.  His caution was printed in the March 3, 2011 edition of the Syracuse (N.Y.) Post-Standard.  Read what Dr. Silky had to say!


The Syracuse.com website posted Dr. Silky's opinion piece on April 17, 2015 regarding who or what to blame (or not blame) for not getting better K-12 student outcomes.  Fed up with using teachers a the single scapegoat, he argues that the problem is much more complex. Take a look and see how he frames this argument.


The Syracuse (NY) Post-Standard's March 4, 2012 edition's lead article discusses recent interest by Central New York school districts in possibly merging with neighboring districts.  Among other experts on school organization, Dr. Silky was asked to comment for this story.  Bill outlines the reasons why districts entertain the concept as well as why it is difficult to achieve.  And, in the March 7th editorial of the Post-Standard he is again quoted as the editorial staff argue that now is the time to consider district merger.  Read what he and others had to say!


Writing in the New York State School Boards' Association's publication, OnBoard (March 2009), Dr. Silky raises the issue if school district merger is the answer to a district's financial woes.  With his extensive experience conducting school reorganization studies, Dr. Silky has a unique experience to offer to any school district considering merging with a neighbor.

 The Syracuse Post-Standard, in it's May 20, 2012 edition published a letter to the editor from Dr. Silky regarding the negative impact the new New York State tax cap is having on school district.  He claims that, despite positive recent school district budget votes, schools have had to cut back programs, lay off staff, and take other measures to conform to the tax cap limitations.  In essence, Dr. Silky believes that public education is beginning to gradually crumble and unless the tax cap is repealed, it will change radically in future years.  Then in a more recent (March 3, 2015) follow-up article on Syracuse.com he cites two research studies that describe the long-term negative impact that tax caps have had on the schools in California and Massachusetts.  Read both of these publications by Dr. Silky!