Dundee School hires Houck as Superintendent

Gwen Chamberlain
Kelly Houck

The Dundee Central School District Board of Education has named Kelly Houck as the next Dundee Superintendent of Schools. Her contract begins July 1, 2014.

Houck says this career move is the perfect step for her. As a resident of the Bradford/Lamoka Lake area, she’s looking forward to becoming a part of the Dundee community, in addition to a 13-mile commute to work vs. the 48 mile commute she currently travels to Canaseraga Central School, where she has served as School Superintendent.

Houck will be the first superintendent from outside the district since Nancy Zimar, who came to Dundee from the Bradford District, was hired in 1989.

Houck replaces Kathy Ring, who retired at the end of 2013. Ring had replaced Zimar, who had been superintendent until her retirement in late 2009 after 20 years in the position. Ring had spent her entire 38 year career in education at the Dundee Central School.

“I am truly elated to join the Dundee team,” said Houck. “I believe that Dundee Central School is the best kept secret of the Finger Lakes, and I look forward to using my skills, knowledge and experience in assisting Dundee Central School in aggressively preparing our students for the 21st Century and beyond.”

Houck says encounters with parents and staff during her recent visits to the district lead her to believe that Dundee’s strengths are often overlooked. “There are great staff and great opportunities there. I don’t know if that’s always seen because of the other bigger districts around, and maybe people didn’t realize the opportunities were there (in Dundee).”

Over the past 10 years, Houck has served in various roles of public education including: Pre-kindergarten-12th grade teacher, director of special education, building principal and director of transportation.

Houck received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Mansfield University, a Masters of Education in Elementary and Special Education from Mansfield University, and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration from SUNY Brockport.

In her youth, Houck attended Watkins Glen Central School before transferring to Bradford when her family moved.

Houck will be joining the Dundee community as she takes on her new role as Superintendent. “I am grateful for this opportunity and I am very pleased to be retiring my resume and begin a long-standing relationship and commitment to DCS” said Houck.

The same day she accepted the appointment, Houck’s replacement at Canaseraga was appointed. She said the new superintendent there is a current member of the school district team, which will make the transition there easier.

Houck’s salary will be $125,000 annually.

Between now and her July 1 start date, she plans to spend at least one day per week in the Dundee district “to build relationships and I want to broaden and deepen my understanding of the community,” she says, explaining that the greatest strength of her personal style is in establishing relationships, a skills she wants to use to tackle the challenges ahead.

The biggest challenges she faced in Canaseraga were making the flawed implementation of the Common Core a success, along with the financial challenges of the 2 percent tax cap. Those challenges will face her in Dundee as well.

A statement released by the board of education last week noted, “The Board of Education would like to extend their thanks to those who participated in the hiring process for this position including: many student representatives, staff members and community representatives.”