SWCS Hires Superintendent

The Southwestern Board of Education has announced the appointment of Maureen Donahue as the superintendent of schools for the Southwestern Central School District, effective Jan. 22.

Donahue currently serves as the superintendent of schools for the Friendship Central School District, a position that she has held since 2005. She brings an extensive administrative career background to Southwestern’s schools.

She began her career in public education as a teacher of special education at the Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES in 1984. Throughout her career, Donahue has served as a special education teacher in the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools in Charlotte, N.C.; a behavior specialist for the Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES; and an administrative supervisor for the BOCES. Prior to her appointment in 2005 as superintendent at Friendship, she also held the positions of middle school assistant principal and elementary principal/director of special education for the Olean City School District.

Donahue has maintained a focus on student achievement throughout her career. She has initiated systemic change efforts, which led to increased student performance. She has extensive experience developing and managing school budgets. She has had experience and success in capital construction projects. And, most recently, she has fully implemented the New York State APPR initiative. Donahue maintains a highly visible presence within the community at school and community events within the schools she serves.

Donahue earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary/special education from Slippery Rock University, her master’s in exceptional education from Buffalo State College, her school administration degree from St. Bonaventure University and she was an associate of the Superintendent Development Program sponsored by SUNY Oswego. Donahue is a member of many professional organizations and boards, and presently serves as treasurer of the executive board of the New York State Council of School Superintendents.

Jim Butler, president of Southwestern’s Board of Education, commented on behalf of the board, “Mrs. Donahue will be a wonderful asset to our school district. Her professional background and track record of improving student performance will serve our students well. We are excited about her positive outlook, her leadership style and record of achievement.”

Donahue stated, “I am energized by the opportunity to serve the Southwestern Central School staff, students and school community as the superintendent of schools. Southwestern is an outstanding school system and a great place to live. The pride and enthusiasm exhibited by all stakeholders during the interviews was clearly evident. I look forward to making contributions that will benefit students and the entire community.This is a great place to work and to learn at all levels. I truly am looking forward to becoming a member of this fine school system and community.”

The Board of Education conducted an extensive search for an individual to replace Daniel George. George will retire from the district effective Jan. 23.

The Board of Education requested the services of the office of the district superintendent for the Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES in its quest to hire a new superintendent of schools. David O’Rourke served as the board’s search consultant and worked with the board on all aspects of the search.

“You have a wonderful, caring and family-oriented community,” said O’Rourke. “Maureen Donahue has a tremendous background to share with the district and has experiences that will benefit the school district for years to come. I am personally looking forward to working with Maureen. She is an enthusiastic, knowledgeable and talented educational leader.”