Cato-Meridian Central School District Superintendent Noel Patterson intends to retire in December because he feels it's an ideal time to say goodbye.

"The district's in good shape. We have high graduate rates, our academic performance is high, we have a good reputation, and our facilities are in great shape," Patterson said this week.

The 62-year-old — who has been head of the district since 2009 — has 38 years of education experience.

His original plan was to retire last year, but the district's longtime school business administrator, Crosby "Skip" Lamont, decided to retire himself, so Patterson decided to stay on longer to ensure a smooth transition.

Former Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES Superintendent William Speck has been chosen as a hiring consultant in the search for a new superintendent through BOCES at a cost of $8,500, school business administrator Brenda Semeraro said.

In his remaining months with the district, Patterson wants to continue programs like Beverly Green's STEM projects in the elementary school, technology teacher Kevin McGowan's robotics classes in the middle school and the high school's Science Olympiad team that was formed last year.

 "I think we see that many of our students are interested in those fields, and it's all about providing opportunities to students that they not only have an aptitude in but show an interest in," Patterson said.

Patterson has confidence regarding the the district's current course.

"I believe the district is in great shape and poised to have a new leader come in and bring Cato(-Meridian) to the next level," Patterson said.

Staff writer Kelly Rocheleau can be reached at (315) 282-2243 or kelly.rocheleau@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @KellyRocheleau.

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Education Reporter