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Welcome Dr. Neal Capone, Superintendent of Schools

Aug. 8, 2023
Matt Cook, Ed.D.
OCM BOCES District Superintendent or 315-433-2602
DeRuyter School Board Announces New Superintendent

After a thorough search process, the DeRuyter Central School District Board of Education is excited to announce the selection of Neal Capone, Ed.D., as the new Superintendent of Schools.
For the past 12 years, Capone, 50, has served as the Superintendent and Head of School at Faith Heritage, a private K-12 school in Syracuse that was also his middle-   and high-school alma mater. He will succeed David M. Brown, Ed.D., who led DeRuyter schools for the past five years before taking a new position as director of graduate studies for Le Moyne College.
Pending the successful completion of contract negotiations, the DeRuyter Board of Education, which unanimously selected Capone, will formally approve his appointment and set a starting date.
Board President Dean Hathaway said Capone stood out as “the perfect fit” among 12 qualified candidates who were interviewed for the position. The Board of Education conducted the interviews with input from three committees consisting of students, parents/community members, and staff/administrators. All agreed that Capone “consistently showed his passion for student achievement and our community,” Hathaway said.
“He has exceeded all of the qualities we were seeking and comes to us with a strong proven leadership background, which will enable him to collaboratively lead our district on a path of positive change and improvement,” Hathaway said. “We, as the DeRuyter Central School Board of Education, want to congratulate Dr. Capone and his wife, Connie, and welcome them to the DeRuyter Rocket family!”
Capone said he was “humbled and honored” to be selected for the position and thrilled to become part of the DeRuyter community.
He also said he was looking forward to working with “an amazing group of professionals to help students flourish and to empower them with a passion for learning and growth.”
“DeRuyter is a beautiful community with a rich history of caring for each other and for supporting their school district,” he added. “I am thankful to the school board for putting their trust in me, and I am truly excited to continue my journey with them and to help create a transformative learning experience for every student.”
The DeRuyter Board of Education launched a nationwide search for its new superintendent in April with assistance from Matt Cook, Ed.D., the district superintendent for the Onondaga-Cortland-Madison (OCM) BOCES. The confidential search included a community and staff survey that helped the Board of Education set priorities for the qualities they wanted in a new district leader.
Cook said it was “a pleasure to work with the DeRuyter Board of Education, their administrators, staff and community.”
“Everyone was so dedicated to finding their next leader, and all of the stakeholder groups were incredibly helpful in providing feedback to the Board,” Cook said. “I’m pleased that the process ran so smoothly and attribute that to the collaborative spirit of the entire DeRuyter school community. I’m also looking forward to working more closely with Dr. Capone as he starts this next chapter in his career.”
For Capone, the superintendent position in DeRuyter follows 27 years of experience in a variety of educational roles.
After growing up in the Syracuse area, graduating from Faith Heritage in 1990, and earning his bachelor’s degree in education from SUNY Oswego, Capone launched his career in 1996 by working eight years as a 7-12 math teacher in the Westhill Central School District.
He later became a teacher-trainer at OCM BOCES, a position that included planning and leading regional instructional work in areas such as literacy, math, classroom management and parent-school partnerships. In 2007, he became a district data coordinator for OCM BOCES at its Central New York Regional Information Center, a position that shifted his focus to helping districts make the best use of instructional data to support student achievement.
In September 2011, Capone took the helm at Faith Heritage, a multi-denominational Christian school in the Valley neighborhood of Syracuse. In his cover letter for the DeRuyter position, Capone said his leadership skills grew and flourished at Faith Heritage because of his interactions with everyone involved in the school community, from students to staff to parents and Board members.
Capone also pointed to several of his accomplishments at Faith Heritage, saying, “The school finances are in order, the facilities are updated and support the forward-thinking growth mindset of the school, an exciting new strategic plan is in place, and the board is working with great effectiveness.”
“I feel confident that I am leaving Faith Heritage stronger than it has ever been and that the school is positioned to continue to grow and serve the Syracuse community with excellence for decades to come,” he added.
Capone said he wants to bring that same level of “commitment, ownership and excellence” to DeRuyter.
In addition to his bachelor’s degree from SUNY Oswego, Capone has a master’s degree in education and human development from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and a Certificate of Advanced Study in educational administration from SUNY Oswego. He earned his doctorate in executive leadership in 2016 from St. John Fisher University in Rochester.
Outside of work, Capone loves to golf with his wife of 30 years, Connie — a registered nurse at Upstate University Hospital and fellow Faith Heritage alum — as well as spending time with his family, serving in his church and community, and hiking with their golden retriever, Mabel. He and Connie live in the South Valley area of Syracuse and have three grown children.
Members of the DeRuyter Board of Education would like to thank all of the candidates who applied for this position and everyone in the district and school community who offered their time and input into this important decision.
Dr. Neal Capone, Superintendent
711 Railroad Street
DeRuyter, New York 13052

Phone: (315) 852-3400
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