September 19, 2023
Dear OACSD Families, Faculty, Staff, and Community Members,
My name is Terry Dougherty, and I am humbled and honored to have been selected by the Board of Education to serve as the Interim Superintendent of Schools. Oxford Academy and Central School District forms the cornerstone of educational excellence in the local community, and I am excited to see what we can accomplish working together in the days and weeks ahead.
By way of introduction, I started my teaching career in 1992 as a middle and high school social studies teacher in Corning and Elmira, and then, following a brief stint in graduate school at Cornell, became high school principal in Groton in 1998. While at Groton, I was invited to return to Cornell to complete my doctoral studies. In July of 2002, I was appointed Superintendent of Schools in Hancock, where I happily served for 21 years in the capacity of Chief School Officer in a tremendous rural community, much like Oxford. Most recently, starting in August, I transitioned to the role of Executive Superintendent in Hancock, with the core responsibility of assisting with the onboarding of my replacement while my wife, Mary, and I sought to relocate to a geographic location that works best to assist our aging families.
On the personal side, I am one of 11 children – you read that right, seven boys and four girls – and grew up on a farm in Tioga County, New York. I attended Syracuse University (Go ’Cuse!), where I competed on the football team and graduated with a degree in United States History. When I am not wearing my educator hat, you can find me at the JMA Wireless Dome (forever the Carrier Dome to me), traveling to Utah with my wife to visit our son, out to dinner or a Springsteen concert with family and friends, trekking the endless highways and backroads of Upstate New York, or simply spending a frustrating Sunday afternoon watching the Giants blow yet another “insurmountable” lead over Dallas or Philadelphia.
I believe in enduring rural family values – such as strong faith, humility, optimism, trust, respect, honesty – and the unfailing belief in the efficacy of hard work. I believe in being fair, consistent, transparent, honest (even when it hurts), civil, kind, and forgiving. Family, and working in a school culture that supports one another like a family, is extremely important to me. I value operating with an “open” door policy and look forward to welcoming students, faculty, staff, and community members into my office to discuss just about anything. Most important, I believe in rural schools and the infinite significance of the missions public school educators endeavor to achieve while teaching our kids, perfecting our crafts, and engaging our communities.
I am excited for what lies ahead in the 2023-24 school year and can’t wait to get started.
607-843-2025, ext. 4041