BY REBECCA ISENHART
When Niskayuna’s music department chairman, Matt Cremisio, moved to Florida at the end of the last school year, the district’s administrators were already searching for someone new to helm the department that looks after Niskayuna’s many vocal and instrumental musicians.
But by the end of the summer, the perfect candidate remained elusive. So instead, the district invited a familiar face to return.
Scott Walroth, former chairman of the Niskayuna art department, retired at the end of the 2013-2014 school year. After enjoying about a year of leisure–if you could call it that–in which he taught graduate students at the Sage Colleges and consulted for the Greater Capital Region Teacher Center, Walroth learned his administrative expertise was in demand once more.
“I was really honored to be asked,” said Walroth, whose musical background is limited to playing guitar for leisure. His wife, Catherine, is a recently retired music teacher from Schenectady City School District.
However, Walroth said, the district chose him for his background as an administrator.
“It’s kind of flowed right back into it,” he said. Walroth works part-time and hasn’t run into any of his former students yet, though he said he looks forward to seeing familiar faces when he visits the high school.
Niskayuna Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra said the second iteration of the search for a music department head will be more extensive than the first.
“We’re going to advertise throughout the state,” he said. “In addition to using the OLAS [online application system] we typically use, we’ll also advertise in metropolitan newspapers across New York state and take advantage of any assistance we can get from the New York State Music Association.
Tangorra said he hopes to hire the new director around January.
The beginning of 2016 would be the perfect time to bring on a new music administrator, as Walroth has committed to move to Florida for four months beginning Jan. 4 to be near family. His daughter lives near Boca Raton.
“We’re doing everything we can to ensure that we have a quality director in our music program,” Tangorra said. “We’re still looking for the right fit. Because, you know, we have wonderful artists in the music department, so we want to make sure we find someone who can handle that responsibility.
“We want to make sure we find a leader who is going to be able to take the program to the next level,” he added.