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Le Roy superintendent settles into new position

By Maria Pericozzi

Merritt Holly, a Le Roy resident since 2009, never thought he wanted to go into administration. In the beginning of April, Holly started as the superintendent of the Le Roy Central School District.  

“I’m very humble to be in a position like this, to represent teachers, students and staff here at Le Roy,” Holly said.

After a month and a half in his position, Holly said he has not seen any negatives to his job as superintendent.

“Everyone has been so supportive, from inside here and in this community. They’ve been so supportive and I can’t be thankful enough,” Holly said. “You need that in order to be successful running a school district.”

Holly was a graduate of Pavilion High School in 1992 and went to Genesee Community College, later transferring into SUNY Brockport.

Holly’s teaching career began in 1999 when he was hired out of college as a Global Studies teacher at Oakfield-Alabama Central School District and coached varsity basketball. In January 2007, he was asked by the superintendent to carry out the rest of the year as the dean of students.

“I never thought I wanted to go into administration but it was a good opportunity to try it out and see if I liked it,” Holly said.

Holly stayed on to be the dean of students for the 2007-2008 school year and started taking classes for an administrative degree.

In 2008, Holly started as the middle school principal, making an impact for Oakfield-Alabama students in grades six through eight.

Before becoming superintendent of Le Roy Central School District, Holly served as principal of Caledonia-Mumford High School since 2011.

“I’ve worked with great leaders,” Holly said. “I’ve had a chance to learn under a lot of good people. I’ve had the chance to be involved in some great staffs at [Oakfield-Alabama] and [Caledonia-Mumford High School].”

Le Roy Junior-Senior High School is ranked in the top 10.3 percent in the country, earning a Silver Medal, according to U.S. News & World Report magazine's ranking of the Best High Schools.

Holly said he has been impressed with what Le Roy offers its students and the passion for the programs.

“Not only do we have strong academics, but if you look at what we’re doing with extracurricular [activities] and you’ve got a perfect scenario for kids to thrive with and be successful,” Holly said.  

Holly said that many students are coming in to rural area schools with a variety of needs and issues. One of his goals as superintendent is to look at how to best help those students.

“I think the whole group instruction concept that I was a part of as a student is not going to work in this day and age right now,” Holly said. “We have to think in a differentiation type of way that we have to meet our kids at their level.”

Holly said that it does not mean to lower standards and expect less from students.

“I think kids come in with a keen skill set that I don’t think I had when I was their age,” Holly said. “I think that kids aren’t changing in the sense of the academics, I think we have to adjust to what their interests are, different from where they were five to 10 years ago.”

Tim McArdle, the principal of Le Roy High School, said he has worked closely with Holly as neighboring principals over the years.

“To have him now on our team has been tremendous,” McArdle said. “It has been awesome seeing him start every day in our bus loop, greeting our students as they enter the building. He is a very caring and genuine person who wants nothing but the best for this community.”

McArdle said Holly’s transition into his new position was smooth. Prior to starting as superintendent, Holly was able to spend multiple days visiting and meeting informally with staff and students. McArdle said it allowed Holly to hit the ground running from day one.

“[Holly’s] presence has been felt from the bus loop, to the classroom, to the extracurricular events,” McArdle said. “He truly understands the importance of being visible and supporting our Knights.”

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