Alden-Conger re-organizes administration, names new superintendent

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 7, 2003

Alden-Conger has always had a different administration hierarchy than most school districts.

Though there has always been a principal and superintendent, a program called COG, which assigns teachers to different administrative duties, is also an instrument used in administrative decision making.

Last month, the school board approved a change in the role of two administrators.

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Rita Usselman, who had acted for the past six years as both superintendent and principal for the single-building district, is now a full-time principal. Joe Guanella, an industrial technology teacher, drivers’ education instructor and director of district finances, has taken on the role of superintendent, which is now a part-time position.

Usselman said the change fits the district for many reasons, which include: Guanella’s understanding of district finances, recent changes in federal and state standards for districts and the fact that she is nearing retirement.

The change, she said, is also due to a lack of defined terms in her and Guanella’s roles.

&uot;Sometimes in the office it’s like we are all trying to catch a bunch of ping pong balls,&uot; she said. &uot;Nobody knows which ones are theirs. Now, at least, the ping pong balls are color coded.&uot;

Guanella said he is happy to take on the role.

Usselman resigned from the superintendent position in June, and a search for a new part-time superintendent involved interviews with 15 candidates. Guanella got the job, and will serve in the same post that his father did for many years in the Alden-Conger district.

&uot;I don’t think people will really notice a change,&uot; he said. &uot;But I think it will make work easier to split up between Rita and I.&uot;

(Contact Peter Cox at or 379-3439.)