On Monday, Jan. 11, the members of the Goshen School Board unanimously voted to appoint Dr. Kurtis Kotes as the next superintendent of schools. His duties begin July 1.
Kotes will replace Superintendent Daniel Connor, who will retire at the end of the school year.
According to the school district’s web site (www.gcsny.org), the selection is the result of an intensive, months-long search conducted with the assistance of Strategic Educational Advantage, LLC (SEA) that utilized feedback from numerous interviews, surveys and public forums conducted with the school community.
‘Dedication to learning and spirit of teamwork’
“On behalf of the Board of Education, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Kurtis Kotes as our next Superintendent,” Board President Jason Pucci said. “Dr. Kotes is an educational leader whose dedication to learning and spirit of teamwork will help build upon the district’s excellent programs and initiatives. I look forward to working with Dr. Kotes as he shares his vision for leadership with our school community.”
Kotes is a familiar name in the Goshen Schools community. He came to Goshen in December 2011 to serve as principal of Goshen High School and, in 2015, was named assistant superintendent of curriculum, instruction, personnel and technology.
He held the position until July 2018 when he became superintendent of schools at the Mount Pleasant School District in Westchester County.
“I look forward to working with Goshen staff, families and students to help shape the future of the district, especially as we look to recover from the effects of the global pandemic,” Kotes said in the district’s announcement. “We need to move safely from an air of uncertainty to proactive solutions that allow our children to safely return to learning environments that are nurturing, supportive and fulfilling. Together, we can recommit ourselves to reigniting a love of learning in our schools, and create a community of which we are all proud.”
Kotes received a Bachelor of Arts in Government and History from SUNY Albany, followed by a Masters in Secondary Education from Mount Saint Mary College. He then received administrative certification from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts as well as a doctorate in educational leadership from St. John Fisher College.
‘That school-to-community connection’
In interview with Colleen Wilson of the Rockland/Westchester Journal News in August 2018, Kotes was asked: What makes you uniquely qualified to oversee the Mount Pleasant School District?
Kotes replied: “It was really the breadth of my experience. Having been a classroom teacher, an assistant principal, principal and then especially the last position I held (in Goshen), my title seemed to run off the end of my business card. I oversaw curriculum, instruction, personnel and technology — having that cross-section of experience to see every aspect of what leadership looked like to most effectively run a school district prepared me and made me feel like I was ultimately the best candidate to take over leadership here.
“One of the experiences, too, that I had in my last position was that school-to-community connection,” Kotes added. “All of those community connections from time to time served the school very well to create opportunities for students. I intend to bring that here as well.”