COLONIE – South Colonie School District Superintendent Jonathan Buhner announced to staff his intention to retire in March, 2020.
Buhner has 30 years in education. He was hired as superintendent at South Colonie in 2008 and prior to that was the superintendent at the Walton Central School District in Delaware County for four years. Before becoming superintendent his career included stints as principal, dean of students and teacher.
He signed a four-year contract with South Colonie in November, 2017 that runs through July 31, 2021, but said the time is right to step aside.
“This job is a demanding, and I am one who believes you have to be engaged 100 percent to do it well,” Buhner said. “This is a personal decision, and I want to spend more time with my family and maybe look at some other things down the road.”
The district has some 4,800 students and employs 500 teachers, 400 support staffers, 70 teaching assistants and 25 administrators at its five elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school and district office. It has a $104.9 million budget.
“It’s been a good career and it’s a great place with good people dedicated who are dedicated to the students,” he said. “We accomplished quite a few things and it has been a total team effort. If your child comes here he or she will have a great experience and have some great opportunities.”
Some highlights under his tenure include:
- A move from half-day to full-day Kindergarten and expansion of the Universal Pre-Kindergarten program
- Implementation of STEAM initiatives Pre-K-grade 12 and Academic Clubs such as Math Olympiad, Odyssey of the Mind, robotics and computer Programming
- Additional college articulation agreements between Colonie Central High School and the University at Albany, Siena College, Hudson Valley Community College and SUNY Adirondack
- Creation of a high school graphics arts lab and course of study
- Technology improvements district-wide including redesign of the South Colonie website, the student Chromebook initiative, and launch of the student-parent information portal Aspen
- Improved academic and social support systems for all students such as the Special Needs Continuum of Services, new social work and clinical mental health services, English as a New Language and summer school program expansion and introduction of the summer literacy academies
- Numerous facility improvements district-wide including new libraries at Forest Park and Roessleville elementary schools, safety and security upgrades, the NYSERDA solar grant project, WiFi in all buildings, reconstruction of the CCHS art, music and technology wing, roof and boiler replacements.
This story will be updated in our print edition.