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Wilson Returns to Pelham as Interim Superintendent

PELHAM, N.Y. – A grateful Charlie Wilson was welcomed back to Pelham during Monday’s Board of Education meeting, where it was unanimously approved that he will serve as the interim superintendent between Dennis Lauro's retirement and the hiring of a new superintendent.

“I feel wonderful about it,” said Wilson, who had retired to Maine when he received a phone call about the opportunity from Pelham School Board president Robert Eicher. “I know Pelham well – I have a great affection for it.”

Wilson has called Pelham home for 30 of his 44 years in education, which started in 1968. Through the years, he has served as a teacher, guidance counselor, assistant superintendent, and superintendent in the district before retiring in 2008 and giving way to Lauro. This will be his fourth time returning to Pelham.

The 65-year-old was offered a contract of “at least five years” to become the superintendent of a school district in Maine, but was reluctant because of his age. Eicher, who Wilson had used as a reference for the position, called him and asked if he would return to Pelham – the answer was yes, and Wilson is now “happy to be back at home.”

While New York State mandates new policies since Wilson last worked for Pelham in 2008, he feels capable of handling them.

“A lot of it is new, but I’ve had other experiences related, so I should be fine,” Wilson said. One of those experiences came when he was a principal in Tenafly, N.J., where he said New York’s neighbor had a system similar to the year-old tax cap.

Wilson has maintained “very, very close ties” with Pelham even while in Maine, including consulting, completing a report for the district on how to improve the college advisement program, and giving a speech at last year’s National Honor Society induction.

He envisions his six-month position as an “interesting capstone” to his career in Pelham, which he calls “a very special place.”

“Now I have the chance to be helpful to getting them through an interim period and then transitioning a new superintendent, with whom I’ll make an effort to work with to really set things up, so they’ll be successful,” said Wilson. “I have invested so many years here. My last act here would be to sort of get the new person headed in the right direction.”

Lauro is retiring on Dec. 31 and Wilson will serve from Jan. 1, 2013 to June 30, 2013. He will be paid $1,000 a day and is not eligible for benefits.

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