• Dr. Geelan

    The Olean City School District would like to offer a warm welcome to Dr. Karen Geelan who will be serving as Interim Superintendent through June 30, 2022.   Dr. Geelan comes to us with several years of administrative experience serving as Superintendent of Schools, building principal, and mathematics instruction.  Dr. Geelan fills the vacancy left by Mr. Rick Moore’s retirement and serves as a key transitional role while the Olean City School District’s Board of Education seeks to find a permanent superintendent over the next few months.

    Dr. Karen Geelan taught math in the cities of Buffalo and Niagara Falls for twelve (12) years, where she had many teacher leadership experiences, and she adopted the philosophy of “Learning for All…Whatever it Takes.”  Teaching every math course from grade 7 through AP Calculus, she became involved in curriculum and assessment writing at the district level, served as a secondary director in the teachers’ union, and participated on the building and district level shared decision making committees, in addition to advising numerous student clubs and organizations.  After hours were spent as a computer tutor for students in a halfway house and teaching math at the community college and math methods to pre-service teachers at Niagara University.

    She complemented her professional experiences by extending her formal education, earning two Masters of Education degrees and a Doctorate of Education.  The focus of her studies was tending to the organization of schools and districts to become change-adept organizations that can resiliently bounce back from adversity.  She studied at the University at Buffalo, and her thesis was titled, Organizational Sustainability and High School Reform.

    Dr. Geelan held formal leadership positions, successfully serving as an Assistant Principal at the middle and high school levels, Interim Elementary Principal in a large, rural central school district, and the Principal of Kenmore-West High School, a large suburban high school. For nine (9) years, she served as Superintendent of Schools at Allegany-Limestone CSD, Valhalla UFSD, and the Greater Johnstown City School District.  Most recently, she was the Interim Principal at Westminster Community Charter School in Buffalo.

    Dr. Geelan served on the House of Delegates and the Curriculum Committee, Assessment Sub-Committee, and Federal Legislative Committee of the Council of New York School Superintendents (NYSCOSS), was on the Board of Directors for the Western New York Educational Service Council (WNYESC), and served on Commissioner Elia’s ESSA Think Tank.

    Providing advocacy for the students and taxpayers of her district, ensuring common curriculum pathways for students, providing for the hiring, development, and productive evaluation of quality school personnel and leaders, and making and maintaining positive relationships with local, state, and federal leaders are hallmarks of Dr. Geelan’s superintendency.  At the center of every meeting and decision are the best interests of students and their families.  She strives to provide the highest quality programs and services possible in a fiscally responsible manner.

    In her short time here, Dr. Geelan assumed the day-to-day operations as Superintendent.  She has attended multiple district and building level meetings offering insight and experience to the operation of Olean City Schools.  In discussion with Dr. Geelan, has noted that a key aspect of her interim role will be to provide stability and preparation for the incoming superintendent.  She notes how impressed she has been to witness the dedication she has seen in both the students and the faculty & staff in the short time she has been here.  We look forward to working with Dr. Geelan as we continue to navigate the pandemic with hope and aspiration for our students here at Olean City Schools.

    Welcome Dr. Geelan!  Thank you for serving in this important role with us.