The Alexander Central School District’s Board of Education has selected Jared ("Jake") D. Taft as the district’s next Superintendent of Schools. He expected to begin pending successful contract negotiations.
“Coming to Alexander Central as the Elementary Principal and then interim Superintendent has a great deal of nostalgia for me," Taft said. "This school district feels like home. Our school colors are the same as my childhood elementary school where my mom was also a teacher. My first childhood school experiences were in a school nearly identical to Alexander Elementary School.
“I am profoundly grateful, honored, and excited to serve as Alexander’s next Superintendent of Schools. I’m confident that we can tackle the important work ahead of us as we continue to navigate the new normal stemming from the pandemic. But I am sure Alexander has all of the sweat equity, grace and toughness to be successful, strong and even better than before."
“The Board of Education would like to thank the other finalists for their interest shown in this position," said Brian Paris, Alexander Central School District’s Board President. "This was an extremely difficult decision as all of the candidates are highly qualified individuals.
"We truly value the input received from the various stakeholders who met with the candidates to help us make a final decision. The board is confident that Jake Taft will lead our district through the issues we face in our region. With his leadership, we will work together to continue to deliver the best education possible for our students.”
Taft currently serves as the interim superintendent of Alexander Central Schools, a role he has held since September 2020. Previously, from 2019-2020, he served as principal of Alexander Elementary School.
Taft began his career in education in 2000 as a teacher at Roy H. Mann Intermediate School in Brooklyn. He has served in principal roles at the Royalton-Hartland, Lackawanna, and Lewiston-Porter Central School Districts.
In each of these districts, he focused on developing positive, collaborative, and productive relationships to cultivate a culture of teaching, learning and caring for all.
Some of his 20-year career highlights include: evaluating and implementing the annual School Improvement Plan at Royalton-Hartland Middle School; supervising and coordinating the P-Tech Grant Program at Lackawanna High School; and providing instructional leadership to Professional Learning Communities to advance student learning at Lewiston-Porter High School. In 2015, Taft was awarded the Trocaire College Reflections Award for P-Tech.
Taft earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice, and a Master of Science in Elementary Education from Niagara University. He also earned a Master of Science in School Administration and Supervision from Touro College. He is completing coursework for his Doctorate of Education.
He holds New York State permanent certifications in Elementary Education, and Special Education, and as a School District Administrator and Supervisor.
Kevin MacDonald, District Superintendent of the Genesee Valley BOCES, acted as the search consultant and noted that the search process was a true collaboration between the Board of Education and stakeholders.*
*Clarification statement by Kevin MacDonald stating that stakeholders were not involved in the superintendent search interview process.