☰ MENU

New Year Starts With New Superintendent

New Year Starts With New Superintendent
By Denise Champagne
dchampagne@messengerpostmedia.com
Messenger Post Media

Michael Midey is retiring after 10 years with the district;
Andy Doell from Mynderse Academy takes over Jan 1.

BLOOMFIELD — At 57, Bloomfield Central School District Superintendent Michael Midey feels he’s young enough to take a step in a different direction. He just doesn’t know what that direction will be yet, but he is looking forward to figuring it out.

“I have no buckets,” he said during a recent interview. “I have no list of things I want to accomplish.”

Midey, who lives in Seneca Falls, officially retires Dec 31. The next day, Andy Doell, who is leaving his job as principal at Mynderse Academy in Seneca Falls, will officially replace Midey and soon start making the same commute Midey has been making for more than 10 years.

“The Board of Education worked very hard to find the next superintendent and I know they’re extremely comfortable and looking forward to working with Andy,” Midey said. “Andy’s a great person, a fantastic professional and I know he’ll do well.”

Doell, in a recent letter to the Bomber Nation, notes he has come to appreciate the rich tradition that exists in Bloomfield and the district’s commitment to do what is best for students.

“The positive climate and culture that is present throughout the district is a credit to the leadership Mr. Midey has displayed during his time in Bloomfield, as well as to the teachers, administrators and support staff who care so deeply about their work with students,” Doell wrote.

Indeed, Midey emphasizes the good fortune he has had in being surrounded by amazing professionals dedicated to the education and success of all students, and doing what is best for them.

Throughout his 33 years in the education field, Midey has seen many changes. One of the major ones, he said, has been the increasing use of technology in the classroom and throughout the school district over the past several years.

“Students and staff are connected to resources that would not have been available only a short time ago,” he said. “Technology has been integrated into every area of education.”

He also finds it positive that more rigorous coursework is available to more students, noting years ago gatekeepers prevented students from taking Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses unless they scored 90 or above.

The focus is more on the challenge now and giving kids the opportunities to take those challenges, he said.

“If a kid is willing to challenge themselves, they should do it,” Midey said. “If we have a student who wants to take New Visions Medical, auto body, advanced manufacturing, IB or AP and challenge him or herself, we make it happen.”

The work world is not easy and the district wants to provide its students with the challenges that will help them succeed when they leave Bloomfield schools, he said.

“I think, over the years, I’ve talked about what a great school district is, and the support the people provide small school districts in upstate New York is a fantastic thing,” Midey said. “It’s not overlooked. That’s for sure.”

Students from small upstate schools like Bloomfield are accepted into technical schools, colleges and universities, and join the service.

“It’s anything but a dead end,” he said. “Kids that leave schools in Bloomfield and upstate New York have options. You get a choice in what direction you want to go. Our students leaving Bloomfield compete with students from much larger districts, but our students do very well.”

Midey started his Bloomfield tenure in December 2007, recalling the students called him “snowman” that year. He said he will miss most the daily interactions with his staff and students.

Prior to joining Bloomfield, Midey was superintendent of the Romulus Central School District where he began his career as a science teacher when he was about 24.

Midey didn’t start out to be an educator. He had earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies at Alfred University. His abundance of science credits provided an opportunity to teach science in Romulus as a qualified science teacher, but he knew almost instantly it was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.

“I think I smiled from the time I first started talking,” he said, recalling that day, smiling again. “Nothing in my life has been like day one. As you start to interact with students, they are so interested. A quick question turns into a 20-minute conversation. It still happens today. I loved it. Everybody should talk to a kindergartner, to a 12th-grader because they’re just very interesting.”

Having found his calling, Midey worked on his master in education degree, with a computer concentration, earning that at Nazareth College. He also has a certificate of advanced study from The College at Brockport.

Midey taught physics for about 14 years while also serving as athletic director, but switched to administration when former Romulus Superintendent Chris Manaseri asked if he would be willing to fill a recently vacated post. He hasn’t looked back.

He said it’s the people, though, that really make the profession for him.

“I think every day is different,” he said. “Every day brings new challenges and rewards, and every day I get to interact with great people. This is a people job. It’s positive reactions with people and it’s fun.”

He is quick to give credit to his colleagues, particularly his secretary, Debbie Robinson, admitting he has no idea what she does or how, but that she does it well and keeps things running smoothly.

Midey said he has always been surrounded by great professionals who wanted him to succeed, including his sister Joan and wife Mary, both now retired, whom he praised as “absolutely fantastic teachers” at Romulus.
“I looked at how they taught and respected students and colleagues and just knew that’s what you need to do to be successful,” Midey said.

He gives most of the credit to his wife for supporting him throughout his career and taking care of most of the home and family details so he could concentrate on his work. The Mideys have two children: Sean, who lives in Philadelphia where he does landscape design and yoga; and Rachel, who graduated recently from college and is seeking a professional position.

Midey said his parents, Dean, who fought in World War II, and Rita, also have been great inspirations.

Midey describes his career in education as a dessert table where he got to try out desserts at a lot of different tables, but can now go check out all the other desserts.