EducationThe Putnam Examiner

New Superintendent of Schools Returns Home to Lead Carmel District

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The old adage, “You can never go home again,” adopted from the title of a 1940 novel, certainly doesn’t apply to Dr. Erin Meehan-Fairben, new Superintendent of Schools in the Carmel School District.

Fairben, who took over the reins July 1, was born in Putnam County Hospital and lived in the district until she was about five years old. Her father, Richard R. Meehan, served as superintendent in Carmel in 1973 and she will be working in the same office as he did.

“It is a privilege to be selected by the Board of Education as the next superintendent of this great district,” Fairben stated. “Throughout my career, I have worked to create inclusive environments in which students and families feel a sense of ownership and connection to the schools.”

Fairben, who is succeeding Interim Superintendent of Schools Joseph McGrath, has been an educator for 32 years. A former teacher at the elementary, middle and high school levels, and a former principal, she served as Superintendent of the NYS School for the Blind and most recently as an Associate Superintendent at the Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES.

She holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in special education from SUNY Geneseo and received her doctorate and Educational Leadership Certification from the University of Rochester, where she researched how project-based learning increases self-determination skills for school-age students.

“Throughout the interview process Dr. Fairben continuously rose to the top, not just with her high compatibility with the profile created, but also by demonstrating a great knowledge of our district and displaying an authentic passion for leading our schools,” said Board of Education President Dawn Dall.

Fairben will attend her first Carmel Board of Education meeting July 9 in the Carmel High School Library.

“I come to you looking forward to building on the traditions and successes of the Carmel Central School District,” Fairben stated in a message to the district.


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