Updated 2/7/20: Rhinebeck BOE Shares Updated Information on Search Process for New Superintendent of Schools; Online Survey Now Closed; BOE Appoints Retiring Superintendent Phelan to Serve as Interim


The Board of Education is looking for community members interested in participating in the Superintendent search process. On March 2, 3, & 4th, the final candidates will each spend a day in the district to meet with staff, students, and community members. Those able to participate will meet the candidates and be able to provide feedback to the Board through a form that will be provided after each session. There are two time slots available 9:00 am- 9:55 am or 5:30-6:25 pm. We ask that you be present for all three days.   If you are interested in participating and available on these three days and times, please email [email protected] and provide your full name, contact information, and time slot you prefer. There is limited space and requests will be taken until February 21st on a first come first serve basis.  

Diane Lyons
Board of Education President


*1/6/2020 - Update to the search process 1/6/20: On January 6, 2020 the Board of Education met with our consultants for a work session to review the survey data and focus group data, and to begin putting together a profile of what our school community is looking for in its next Superintendent of Schools. The Board appreciates everyone who took the time to participate in that process.  However, the survey is now closed. The information from this meeting is available on the District website under the Board meeting documents.                                                                                                                    

The Board decided to make a modification to the process. We anticipate having 2-3 final candidates, and have decided to invite them to spend some time in our District. This will allow many of you the opportunity to meet the finalists and provide important feedback to the Board of Education before the Board makes a final selection. While the details of these days are still being developed, the dates are tentatively scheduled for March 2, 3, and 4, 2020. More details will be provided as they become available.  - Diane Lyons, Board of Education President


* 12/20/19 - The Board of Education would like to thank everyone who was able to meet with the superintendent search consultants to discuss our district and the qualities we are looking for in our next superintendent. We know that December can be a busy time of year for everyone, so we have asked our consultants to make themselves available one last time for anyone who was unable to attend the previous sessions. This drop in session will be on Thursday, January 2rd from 3:15 until 8:00pm in the High school/ Middle school Library. We would also like to remind everyone to please take the online survey.  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/F3JSZ5D.  ( Supt Search Letter and Survey in Spanish ) (The survey is closed, effective Jan 6, 2020.)  Thank you and have a very happy holiday season.  - Diane Lyons, Board of Education President


* 12/13/19 - In the mutual interest of a smooth and seamless transition of district leadership during the search for, and appointment of, a new superintendent of schools for the Rhinebeck Central School District, the Rhinebeck Board of Education, at their Regular meeting on Tuesday, December 10, 2019, has appointed retiring superintendent Joseph Phelan to serve in the capacity of Interim Superintendent of Schools through the conclusion of the 2019-20 school year. This appointment will be effective February 5, 2020.


* 12/6/19 - Have your voice heard regarding the Rhinebeck School District's Superintendent Search! Please click the link below and answer a few questions to help us gather information on the strengths and qualities desired in the next superintendent.   https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/F3JSZ5D (Survey now closed)

Results of Survey

                     Community Member Response Summary

Parent Response Summary                      Student Response Summary

Teacher Response Summary                    Support Staff Response Summary

Administrator Response Summary            Rhinebeck Multiple Choice Summary 


* Superintendent Search Process & Timeline


Timeline of Key Steps 

On November 12, 2019, the Rhinebeck Board of Education accepted the resignation of Superintendent of Schools Joseph L. Phelan for the purpose of retirement effective January 31, 2020. The Board thanks Mr. Phelan for his many years of dedicated service to the students and community of the Rhinebeck Central School District. We wish Mr. Phelan all the best in his retirement.


Moving forward, the Board has begun planning the search for a new Superintendent of Schools, as well as for interim support until that individual is hired and is able to begin employment with our school district. As part of the search process, the Board of Education approved a search consultant firm, Strategic Educational Advantage, at a Special Meeting on November 18, 2019, to conduct a search process for a Superintendent of Schools on behalf of the Rhinebeck Board of Education.


The Board will continue to update the community as the process moves forward.



Diane Lyons

President, Board of Education  


November 2019

Departure announcement: Mr. Joseph Phelan, Superintendent of Schools, announces that, after 22 years as the Superintendent of the Rhinebeck Central School District, he will be retiring. His last day will be January 31, 2020. The Board is working on plans for interim support until a new superintendent is hired and is able to begin employment with our school district.  


Board work sessions: The Board of Education conducts interviews with numerous executive search firms and local BOCES that have made proposals to assist the school board with the search plan and recruitment process for a new superintendent. The Board holds a second work session to discuss the search firm candidates.


November 18, 2019

Search firm selection: The Board of Education selects Strategic Educational Advantage (SEA) as the search firm to assist with the search plan and recruitment process for a new superintendent.


November 26, 2019

Board work session: SEA consultants share an overview of the process for the superintendent search to the Board of Education and community and the November 26, 2019 meeting.


December 2nd, 2019 -January 2nd, 2020

Online survey: Community members will provide input on the strengths and qualities desired in the next Superintendent to help develop criteria for the search.


Public input: SEA will conduct focus groups (as determined by BOE), as well as public forums and focus groups with stakeholders, to gather public input on the strengths and qualities desired in the next Superintendent to help develop criteria for the  search.


January 6th, 2020 @ 5pm 

Board & screening committee work session: School board meets with SEA to review and provide feedback on a draft leadership profile report and desired characteristics for the Superintendent candidates and review and edit/draft profile for publication.


Candidate profile: Leadership Profile Report and Desired Characteristics are finalized.

Informal recruiting can happen from this point. SEA will invite people to apply based on perceived match to profile.


January 7th, 2020 

Formal advertisements will be published and consultants will start actively recruiting candidates that fit the profile developed with input from all stakeholders.


January 8th -February 12, 2020

Search firm interviews: Search firm screens applications, and interviews candidates


February 13th, 2020 @ 5pm

SEA meets with the entire Rhinebeck Central Board of Education to select a slate of candidates to interview.


February 22nd and 23rd , 2020 

Board of Education will conduct Semi-Final Round interviews.


February 29th and March 1st, 2020  

Board of Education will conduct Final Round interviews


March 2nd, 3rd and 4th, 2020

Finalists will each spend a day in the District and meet with all stakeholder groups, then have dinner with the Board of Education. At this point contract negotiations can start


March 5th or 6th, 2020

Site visit of the Finalist.


March 10. 2020

Board takes action: Board votes to make a formal offer of employment to the finalist candidate

Follow-up with finalist: Negotiate contract terms; conduct background check


March 10th Press Release on the selection of the next Rhinebeck Superintendent of Schools


Meet the New Superintendent Event - Date and time to be determined


July 1, 2020

New superintendent to begin position


** Dates and times may be changed due to inclement weather. Notices will be placed on the Rhinebeck Central School District website**


845.871.5520 - District
845.871.5520 ext. 5527 - Transportation
845.871.5570 ext. 6560 - Registration
845.871.5570 ext. 6551 - Special Education
845.871.5570 ext. 6560 - Curriculum & Instruction


Mailing: P.O. Box 351, Rhinebeck, NY 12572
Physical: 45 N. Park Rd., Rhinebeck, NY 12572


845.871.5570 - Chancellor Livingston Elementary
845.871.5500 - Bulkeley Middle School
845.871.5500 - Rhinebeck High School