Godshall to retire after 24 years leading O/N BOCES

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 May 2024 at 2:56 pm

Dr. Clark Godshall

MEDINA – The leader of the Orleans/Niagara BOCES has announced his retirement, effective June 30.

Dr. Clark Godshall has served as superintendent of the O/N BOCES for 24 years. He has worked as a professional educator for 47 years, starting as high school science teacher in the Hilton Central School. He then was an assistant principle for the Penn Yan school district before coming to BOCES.

For the past 24 years, he has been responsible for the educational services for over 30,000 students at the O/N BOCES, which is the 13th largest BOCES out of 37 statewide. The local BOCES includes three districts (Albion, Lyndonville and Medina) in Orleans County and 10 other districts in Niagara County.

The career and technical center for BOCES is in Medina on Shelby Basin Road. The program currently serves 1,700 students in CTE classes and another 500 in other special programs.

A search is under way to fill Godshall’s post once he retires.

“Dr. Clark Godshall has been a role model for school leaders across New York State and nationally,” said Dr. Betty Rosa, the state’s education commissioner. “His service to the community, school districts and educators in pursuit of higher achievement levels and student success are praised and we thank him for his long tenure of educational leadership.”

Photos by Tom Rivers: Dr. Clark Godshall, BOCES superintendent, attended a graduation on June 29, 2021 for farmworkers who learned English in program offered by BOCES in partnership with the World Life Institute. Godshall commended the students for their commitment to their education and for being role models for their children. He also praised the students’ families and friends for supporting the students in improving their English, especially after long days of working at their jobs. The program is one of 16 adult education and literacy programs through the Orleans-Niagara BOCES.

Godshall joked he was sometimes referred to as “the kingmaker” for leading 76 superintendent searches for school districts. He also led multiple association executive director searches.

He often leads expert teams into less than successful schools to conduct School under Registration Reviews across New York State. Most recently, he was named a “Distinguished Alumni” from St. John Fisher College and the “Superintendent of the Year” by the New York State School Business Officials.

Godshall credited dedicated and hard-working teachers for the success of the O/N BOCES.

“The key is to have a great staff and stay out of their way,” he said.

County Legislator Bill Eick, right, congratulated Dr. Clark Godshall on a nearly 50-year career in public education. Godshall was honored during the County Legislature meeting on Tuesday. Godshall commended the many Orleans County employees his staff has worked with through the Public Health Department led by Paul Pettit, Personnel Department led by Katie Harvey, school resource officers at the Sheriff’s Department led by Chris Bourke, and other county programs often with County Chief Administrative Officer Jack Welch as the point man.

Dr. Clark Godshall holds the Medal of Honor awarded to David Bellavia when Bellavia returned to Lyndonville on Nov. 21 for a student assembly. Bellavia is a 1994 Lyndonville graduate. Godshall and other local officials met with Bellavia for a meet and greet before the student assembly.