Newark CSD announces leadership changes

Matt Cook, superintendent of the Newark Central School District, has accepted a position with the Onondaga - Cortland - Madison Counties BOCES. 

As district superintendent, his duties will include administering, supervising and evaluating regional support services and educational programs provided by the BOCES at the request of the 23 component school districts it serves.

"It's been the greatest honor of my professional career to be able to serve this community,” Cook said. “Any success I’ve had here is a result of the team that I have been blessed to work with. They will more than capably carry Newark on to do great things in the future. 

“I wish my successor all the best, as he or she will be stepping into a wonderful community and will work with a group of dedicated educators that care deeply about every student, every day.

Under Cook’s leadership, the district created its vision and strategic plan, as well as the Curriculum and Instructional Council; upgraded the technology department and implemented the 1-to-1 computing device program for students; increased support for teachers through the instructional coaching program; completed a capital project that built the turf field at Newark High School, upgraded air-handling systems in the schools and increased safety and security; reinstated having a school resource officer; and established a multi-tiered system of support to address academic and social-emotional issues. 

Matt Cook.

Dennis Ford, retired superintendent of the Amherst Central School District, was appointed to serve as interim superintendent while the Newark Board of Education and Vicky Ramos, district superintendent of the W-FL BOCES, search for Cook’s replacement. 

Ford started his educational career teaching English at what was then Newark Junior High School in 1974-82, eventually becoming assistant principal, acting assistant superintendent/director of special programs and principal of Newark Middle School. 

“What a unique opportunity I have just been given,” Ford said. “I get a chance in the absolute twilight of my career to return to the place where I met my wife, Angela, of 44 years and where all three of my children were born. Angela and I have always had nothing but good thoughts about our time in Newark. I do look forward to seeing many people from the past but, even more important, I look forward to helping the Newark school community navigate the unprecedented challenges ahead.”

Dennis Ford.