Jonathan Buhner joined South Colonie as Superintendent of Schools on August 1, 2008, from Walton, New York, where he served as Superintendent since 2004.
Prior to leading the 1,200-student Walton Central School District, Buhner was Director of Secondary and Campus Based Programs for the Madison-Oneida BOCES from 2002-2004. Before that, he was a secondary principal at Waterville Junior-Senior High School (1998-2001) and High School Dean of Students at Sauquoit Valley High School (1997-1998). He began his educational career as a technology teacher, teaching eight years in all at Sanquoit Valley, New Hartford, Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Ogdensburg schools.
Buhner is a U.S. Army veteran and earned an Army Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service in 1985. He is a graduate of the New York State College at Cortland with a Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) in Educational Administration in 1998. He earned a master’s degree in Technology Education in 1994 and a bachelor’s degree in Technology Education in 1989 from the State University of New York College at Oswego.
During his career in education he has been involved in school athletics, coaching football, wrestling and soccer. He holds numerous academic awards. He and his wife, Mercedes, are the parents of a son, Jonathan, and a daughter, Mercita.
You can contact Mr. Buhner at the District Office - 869-3576 or by email by clicking here.
Questions and Answers
I became interested in education as a career based on the experiences I had as a young person watching the positive impact certain teachers, coaches and administrators had on myself and the friends I grew up with in Sherburne, New York. I entered the military after high school, taking advantage of the Army college fund to later attend Oswego State University. That’s where I started on a path to becoming a teacher and an educator. I have worked in different roles in education, and have always found it personally and professionally rewarding. It feels great to see young people grow and succeed, knowing I may have played a part in that.
I believe a Superintendent plays three major roles. First, it is important for me to help set a “vision” for the district in partnership with the Board of Education and the Leadership Team. This means continually looking at where the district has been, and where we would like it to be at certain benchmarks in time. A Superintendent should orchestrate plans to move a district toward that vision with the resources that are available to us. But for an organization to move forward, all of the stakeholders have to be committed to the same goals. Planning and helping people agree on those common goals is what I see as the second critical part of a Superintendent’s job. Lastly, a Superintendent is kept extremely busy managing the normal daily operations of a school district.
Three things: First, I want them to take great ownership and pride in their school district. When schools and parents/guardians work as partners wonderful things happen for children. Second, I would like to remind them and the community at large that we are charged with taking care of their investment and we take that responsibility very seriously. Finally, I would like to encourage their involvement in the South Colonie school system through the PTAs, specific school building teams or other committees. Together, we make a great team!
They should know that I consider everyone in this district to be an important part of our educational community. We all have a daily impact on the success of the students. It’s important for everyone to keep the big picture in mind: How can we use the resources we have (human and material) to continually improve and give our students a world class education? This district has a great deal to celebrate, but like any great organization, we should always be looking for ways to improve.
Some people may be surprised to know that I enjoy woodworking when I have a few free hours. Over the years I have collected tools and different pieces of power equipment. My wife, Mercedes, and I also enjoy being involved in our children’s school and social activities as well as community events.
I enjoy working on things around the house and spending my free time with my wife, Mercedes, and my children. When we have the chance as a family, we like to camp, visit amusement parks and explore different places together.
When people look back at my time in South Colonie I hope they say I was dedicated to the overall good of the school district and the South Colonie community. I want to be remembered as someone who was responsive … someone who based his most difficult decisions on what was most beneficial for the students we serve.