Dr. McKersie Becomes the Permanent Superintendent


Frieda Belasco and Fiona Pugh

On January 1, 2022, Dr. William “Bill” McKersie will become the superintendent of the Hastings-on-Hudson UFSD. He has been serving as the interim superintendent this school year and now plans to take on the job full time. Originally, when accepting the position as interim, Dr. McKersie and the Board of Education had an understanding that he would want to be considered for the permanent position, meaning this promotion was not a complete surprise. 

In discussing the difference between an interim and a permanent superintendent, Dr. McKersie mentioned that it has a lot to do with what goals can be set.

“The big change would be, instead of just setting a goal for a year, I would be working with Hastings’ educators, students, Board, families and community on multi-year goals. As an interim, you can really only set goals for a year. As a superintendent, you can set goals for multiple years.”

The Hastings School District has had many different superintendents in past years. Doug Sundhiem, the president of the Board of Education, said, “We are always looking for a ‘super’ who can simultaneously create stability and drive change at the same time.”   Sundhiem hopes that the school has found in Dr.McKersie someone who will fit the criteria.

The Board did not have enough time to do a search for a new permanent superintendent after Dr. Valerie Henning-Piedmonte left the district. Instead of starting the search for someone new in December or January, like they usually would have, they had to find a replacement in June. This led the Board to conduct a search for an interim. Sundheim described this as “an opportunity to meet someone, to see how they manage and how they work for a period of time before offering them a full-time job.” The first few months of an interim superintendent being at a school is more like a months-long interview 

When looking for a new superintendent, the Board wanted someone who could reflect on the questions, “How do we change? And how do we grow, and evolve together?” Sundheim wanted someone who will “connect with the community, connect with the administrators, connect with the staff, connect with students. I really think that with Dr. McKersie, we’ve found someone where some of that chemistry really works well, and we’re hopeful that he’ll be around for quite a number of years to come.”

Dr. McKersie has already become a part of the community here in the Hastings School District. To acquaint himself with the student body, he has been making an effort to say hello to students whenever he can, and he is happy to say that “now I get a lot of ‘hellos’ back.”