By Buffy Calvert

Dr. Robert Chakar in his office at ACS where he serves as Superintendent (a post held jointly with that of Superintendent at Margaretville Central School) received a call from the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) regarding the 2019 NYS Superintendent of the Year. “Sure,” he responded, “Who should I recommend?” “Dr. Chakar, you’ve been given the award!”

ASBO is a group of statewide officials who are responsible for the expenditure and safeguarding of monies used by school districts in NYS. In Andes this means Dr. Chakar, Treasurer Jan Stevens, and BOCES Financial Officer, Greg Beall. They work in close collaboration with the Board of Education, the faculty and the community as a whole, each of whom has a critical voice in what projects are pursued and how they are financed.

It is Dr. Chakar’s 10 years of leadership that is being honored: his listening to all these elements, negotiating with the many State agencies involved, bringing the needs of the building, grounds, curriculum, and wider experiences for the children forward and still keeping within a budget that special grants, Federal and State aid, and our taxes will support. He is keenly aware of the fact that he is using “other people’s money.” He takes it as a trust and is willing to prioritize, to take the time to bring an idea to the Board of Ed and shepherd it though the careful attention and negotiation it may require. He appreciates the stability and wisdom of our Board over the past decade.

Running a lively school is a constant challenge. When necessary, Dr. Chakar lengthens his day or his week to get it all in.

Although the midnight we called him in a panic upon hearing a blaring alarm at the school where he had to figure out how to turn off the pump alarm installed for the bridge project may have tested even his flexibility.) ACS is honored to have at its helm the Outstanding Superintendent of 2019. Congratulations, Dr. Chakar! ~