Chakar to step in as ACS super

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By Matthew J. Perry
A new era of administrative stewardship begins at Andes Central School today, when Superintendent Robert Chakar, Ed.D, comes to work for the first time.
He will be replacing John Bernhardt, who officially retired last year but served through the 2008-2009 academic year at a reduced salary while the ACS Board searched for his replacement.
Chakar was one of several “excellent” candidates who applied for the job via the ONC BOCES, according to members of the ACS Board of Education. Another shortlist candidate was acting building principal Pat Norton-White. The board chose Chakar in a  May 21 unanimous decision.
This will be Chakar’s third appointment to a top administrative post. His most recent position was principal at the Woodlands Junior Senior High School in Hartsdale, located in upper Westchester County. He held the same position at Bellport Senior High School in Brookhaven, located in Suffolk County on Long Island.
The board’s decision was a difficult and important one, given the challenges posed by ACS’s declining enrollment and the tax burdens it places upon its district.
According to board members, Norton-White was a popular candidate among ACS teachers. An English instructor, she had previously taught at ACS before moving to Delaware Academy in Delhi. Her tenure as building principal was her first scholastic administration role. She will not be returning to ACS.
In the end, the board felt it needed an experienced superintendent to fill Bernhardt’s shoes.