CASDA Staff and Faculty were honored to host University at Albany Interim President Dr. James R. Stellar for a visit and tour on December 2. Dr. Stellar requested the meeting in an effort to gain a better understanding of CASDA’s work in the field and partnership with the University’s School of Education.
In order to allow Dr. Stellar a full perspective of CASDA’s operations and structure, CASDA invited selected staff, member superintendents and University partners. CASDA was represented by Executive Director, Dr. James Butterworth, Secretary Treasurer, Terrance Brewer and Communications Director, Edward Koller. Annette Romano represented the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and Superintendents Maria Suttmeier of Hudson CSD and Jonathan Buhner of South Colonie CSD shared the perspective of member schools. Robert Bangert-Drowns, Dean of the University’s School of Education attended as CASDA’s connection to the University.
CASDA staff explained some of CASDA’s rich history and detailed the evolution of its partnership with the University. Dr. Stellar also learned how the CASDA’s work encompasses in house conferences and workshops, distance learning initiatives, college fairs and technical assistance services contracted with member schools. Dr. Butterworth explained how CASDA attempts to identify emerging issues in education and provide resources and support that will help educators meet those challenges and successfully navigate the ever evolving landscape of school communities.
Superintendents Maria Suttmeier and Jonathan Buhner explained how CASDA has helped them with various projects and reports in their respective districts. Both lauded CASDA’s faculty for their dedication and attention to detail in both contract work and professional development offerings. Mr. Buhner brought a copy of a report prepared by CASDA for Dr. Stellar to review and explained how CASDA’s recommendations streamlined operations and improved the efficiency of his Business Office.
The expansive conversation moved beyond the planned agenda as Dr. Stellar offered a great deal of information about his own experience, his vision for the University and its partnership with CASDA. He explained his goal to make the University a powerful community partner for the city of Albany and how CASDA could assist in this process. He saw great value in CASDA’s connection to surrounding districts and expressed a desire to build upon established relationships and cultivate new partnerships and initiatives in the Capital Region’s school communities.