The Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) has narrowed its search for a new district superintendent and chief executive officer to two finalists. The two candidates are Keith Levatino, Ed.D., superintendent of the Little Falls City School District, and Donald (DJ) Shepardson, superintendent of the West Canada Valley Central School District. They were selected by the board after a thorough screening and interview process that included input from multiple stakeholder advisory committees.
Next week, the two finalists will each spend a full day at Herkimer BOCES, meeting with stakeholder groups, who will provide further feedback to the board. These meetings will occur on June 13 and June 14. Using this feedback, the board will determine its next steps and will make a recommendation to the state education commissioner for consideration. The board anticipates a new district superintendent/CEO will assume the role by Oct. 1.
About the candidates:
In his current position, Dr. Levatino oversees a K-12 school district of approximately 1,050 students, a position he has held since 2016. Prior to this role, he served as principal of Perry Junior High School in New Hartford and as the New Hartford school district’s safety coordinator. His experience also includes serving as principal of Strough Junior High School in Rome, assistant principal at Rome Free Academy, special education teacher at Strough, and Academic Summer School principal for Madison-Oneida BOCES. He has served as an adjunct instructor at Utica College. He serves on the SUNY Poly College Council and on the boards of Connected Ed and the Central New York Health Home Network.
He holds an associate degree in business administration from SUNY Adirondack; bachelor’s degrees in psychology and elementary education from SUNY Plattsburgh; a master’s degree in education administration and a certificate of advanced study in school administration from SUNY Plattsburgh; and a doctorate in educational administration/teacher leadership from Walden University.
Donald (DJ) Shepardson
In his current position, Mr. Shepardson oversees a K-12 school district of approximately 615 students, a position he has held since 2015. Prior to this role, he served as elementary principal and a social studies teacher in West Canada Valley, for a total of 25 years in that district. He has been active in various regional committees through Herkimer BOCES related to CTE programming, finances and facilities planning. He has experience coaching multiple sports and now represents Herkimer County superintendents with Section III Athletics and serves as the Center State Conference president, overseeing 24 athletics directors.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in social studies from Utica College; a master’s degree in adult education from SUNY Buffalo; and a certificate in school district leader/school business leader from SUNY Stony Brook.