The Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES Board of Education and state Education Commissioner will appoint Dr. David O'Rourke as the district superintendent/chief executive officer.
O'Rourke currently serves as the assistant superintendent for management services for the Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES, a position he has held since January.
"This is a fantastic opportunity to serve the 43,500 students and school communities of the Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES," O'Rourke said. "I am excited and look forward to contributing to the outstanding legacy of high expectations, high achievement, and positive relationships that the BOCES is known for across the region. The Board of Education, administration, and staff of the Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES are dedicated and committed to providing the best possible educational opportunities for all learners. I am honored to have been selected for this leadership role."
O'Rourke has firsthand knowledge of and experience with the Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES operation and was a superintendent within the BOCES system at Silver Creek Central School. He began his career in 1996 as an English teacher at the Silver Creek Central School. In 2001, O'Rourke was appointed as the coordinator for staff and curriculum development for the Erie 1 BOCES Learning and Technology Services Division. And, from 2003 to 2007, he served as the director of instruction and technology for the Silver Creek Central School District. O'Rourke served the Silver Creek district as the interim business official until his appointment in 2008 as the district's superintendent, a position he held until January when he accepted the assistant superintendent position at Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES.
Under O'Rourke's leadership, Silver Creek improved student performance by matching staff development activities with the needs of the students based on assessments and key performance indicators. He managed a $19.6 million-plus budget and brought financial stability to the district. In addition, district residents approved a $13.4 million renovation and upgrading of systems capital project.
O'Rourke earned his bachelor's degree with honors in political science and English from the University of Toronto in 1994, a master's degree in English in 1996 from the State University at Fredonia, a Certificate in Advanced Study in Online Multimedia Instructional Design in 2001 from Columbia Teachers' College, and a master's of education administration and certificate of advanced study in educational administration in 2005 from the University at Buffalo. O'Rourke completed his Ph.D. in comparative education and social foundations of education in 2011 at the University at Buffalo. O'Rourke maintains memberships in numerous professional organizations.
Dr. Robert D. Olczak, interim district superintendent of the Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES and district superintendent of the Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES, led a search on behalf of the BOCES board for an individual to replace Robert Guiffreda, who retired from the position on Dec. 31, 2011.
"Dr. O'Rourke will be a wonderful asset to our BOCES," said Ronald Catalano, Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES board president. "He has a record of setting high expectations for himself and the entire school community he serves. Dr. O'Rourke is local and is extremely cognizant of the small and large districts' needs and will work collaboratively with all of our constituents to bring what is best for the children to the region. His leadership style will benefit all of our students, school personnel, parents, and the BOCES community as a whole."
The position of district superintendent and BOCES CEO is a dual role. The superintendent serves as the representative of the state education commissioner for the region as well as the CEO of the BOCES. The Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES is the fifth-largest BOCES in New York, serving 27 component school districts in the southern portion of Erie County, all of Chautauqua County and a small portion of Cattaraugus County. The BOCES employs more than 750 staff who work on four campuses and several satellite locations within the supervisory district offering programs in career and technical education, alternative and special education, and adult education, along with numerous non-instructional support services.
O'Rourke lives in Silver Creek with his wife, Susan, and their three daughters.