Welcome Back Message

Welcome Back

By Mark J. Ward, Interim Superintendent


Let me take this opportunity to welcome all our students and staff back from the summer break! Hopefully, everyone had a chance to recharge your batteries and are ready for an exciting and productive new year.


I am pleased to be serving as the District’s Interim Superintendent while you continue the search for a new superintendent. Throughout my forty-four-year career in education I served as a social studies teacher, coach, athletic director and principal in the Ellicottville Central School. I continued my career in education serving as superintendent of Salamanca City Central Schools, Olean City Schools and Ellicottville Central School retiring in June 2017. Most recently, I served as the Interim Superintendent of the Allegany-Limestone Central School from November 2017-April 2018.


Having lived in Cattaraugus County and the southern tier all my life, I believe I have a very good understanding of the priorities and importance small communities place on their local school. The school is the center of activity and a place of pride for the students, parents and the community.


While serving in the capacity of Interim, my main objective is to keep the district running smoothly while moving forward. Changes in the top leadership position is usually a period of transition and with the need to replace two long time leaders it will likely spark a “new era” in the district’s history. While change can be sometimes scary, it is also a time of opportunity.


I would also like to welcome Mrs. Joan Thomas as the district’s Interim 7-12 Principal. Mrs. Thomas brings a wealth of experience to the district having served as a teacher, principal, superintendent and most recently as the interim principal in both North Collins and Cattaraugus-Little Valley. While both of us will be new to everyone in the district we will strive to make sure the district stays on track with programs and initiatives that are in place. With different styles of leadership and personalities we will likely approach some things differently.


From my short time in the District, I know the Board is committed to find a superintendent who will be the best possible fit for the Ten Broeck Academy and Franklinville Central School. Like the district, the Board of Education has also changed with two new members (Mark Slavisky and Diane Soulvie) as well as new board president Sue Ciesla. It is clear to me that the community places a great deal of value on education. The summer programs, budget support, activity around school, wonderful facilities and the various youth programs reflect the support Franklinville has for the school and youth of the community.


As we navigate the beginning of a new year together, I ask for your patience and understanding. I look forward to working with the Board, staff, students, parents and community members to ensure a smooth transition period so the day to day operation of the district does not miss a beat.


May everyone enjoy a successful new year filled with challenges, opportunities and success!