OLEAN — Dr. Genelle Morris, assistant superintendent of schools for the city of Rochester, is set to be named the next superintendent of the Olean City School District.
The assistant superintendent of operations and systems innovation for the Rochester City School District, Morris, is expected to be formally appointed Tuesday at a special meeting of the board of trustees, acting superintendent Dr. Karen Geelan said Thursday. .
It should start on July 11.
Morris has spent over 30 years in urban education, dedicating his life to ensuring that every child graduates high school ready for college or a career. She also served as Deputy Superintendent of Teaching and Learning for the District of Rochester.
Morris previously served as an educator and administrator in Buffalo Public Schools for 30 years. She was the Accountability Manager/CIO for the district, where she was responsible for accountability, evaluation, research and evaluation of system-wide goals and targets.
Morris has also served as Deputy Superintendent of Shared Responsibility, Data Analytics Manager, Data Analytics Supervisor, Manager, and Deputy Manager. She began her career as an Advanced Placement (AP) science/biology teacher at Buffalo.
Morris received his doctorate in educational leadership and policy from the University at Buffalo in 2014, receiving the prestigious Thinking Outside the Box award for his dissertation, which investigated the implementation of the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) in New York State.
Morris also earned a master’s degree in leadership and education policy, a certificate of advanced studies in leadership and education policy, and a master’s degree in science education from UB. His bachelor’s degree in biology was obtained from Canisius College in 1997.
Outside of the public school systems, Morris served as an adjunct teacher for several years and served on various education committees and councils at the local, regional, state, and national levels. Her passion for student advocacy, diversity and progress lights a fire in everything she does.
THE RESEARCH for a new district superintendent came at the end of 2021 following the sudden resignation of Rick Moore on November 30. Moore, who had served as superintendent since 2017, cited retirement as the reason for his resignation.
In the months leading up to Moore’s resignation, the district had drawn the ire of several outspoken parents and community members over restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic – including the requirement for everyone to wear masks in school buildings – and the actions of a school principal.
The school board accepted the resignation of Joel Whitcher as co-principal of Olean Intermediate Middle School on November 10, 2021, submitted for retirement.
After a series of videos showing Whitcher preaching as a pastor at the Fresh Fire Worship Center were shared on Facebook in mid-September, dozens of community members attended weekly school board meetings to express their thoughts. on the matter, some in favor of Whitcher’s personality. viewpoints and others in opposition to his comments.
In the videos, Whitcher commented on religion, gender identity, politics, COVID-19, and mental health, among other things.
On December 17, the school board appointed Dr. Karen Geelan as acting superintendent.
THE NEIGHBORHOOD hired Dr. Teresa Lawrence and Dr. Thomas Ramming of International Deliverables, LLC to assist the school board as it begins its search for a new Superintendent of Schools.
A school board committee met with Lawrence and Ramming on Feb. 5 to discuss the timeline for the superintendent search process and to identify stakeholder groups who will participate in feedback sessions.
Throughout the month of March, stakeholders from the school and the entire community had the opportunity to provide their input on what they would like to see in a new superintendent. After the application process closed, the school board spent the last two months reviewing applicants and arranging interviews through May.
Geelan congratulated the school community and Olean Council on the successful search for a superintendent. She said community input helped the council find and select Morris, and she looks forward to ensuring a smooth transition to district leadership.
“It has been a pleasure to serve as your Acting Superintendent of Schools,” added Geelan. “We have accomplished a lot in a short time for our students and our schools. Olean is a great neighborhood with caring, dedicated teachers and staff and a wonderful pack of Huskies!”