By JIM AUSTIN
---- — Gary Kuch has been named the new director of the Clark Foundation Scholarship Program.
“The Board of Directors of the Foundation and I are delighted that Gary has agreed to be the director of The Clark Foundation Scholarship Program,” Jane Forbes Clark, president of The Clark Foundation said. “His extensive school administrative experience, at the highest of levels, and his knowledge of the region and its students will be of tremendous benefit as he manages the work of one of our most important programs.”
Kuch will assume leadership of the scholarship program effective Feb. 4. He will succeed Peter Severud, who is retiring after nine years as director of the program.
Kuch said Friday that he was “honored” by the appointment.
“I appreciate the confidence the Clark Foundation placed in me to carry on the long-standing tradition,” he said. “I’m very proud to be chosen in a long line of outstanding directors.”
The scholarship program, he said, “is a gem in this area for our local schools.”
According to Kuch, for many students, the scholarships awarded by the program are an important piece of the picture when it comes to paying for a college education and often provides an incentive for them to work hard.
Kuch has had a long career in education with area schools. Most recently, he was superintendent of schools for the Worcester Central School District. He also served as principal of the Cooperstown Central School, supervisor of innovative programs and principal for the Otsego Area Occupational Center, administrative assistant/building administrator for the Milford Central School, and school psychologist/director of student services for the Milford Central School.
Kuch holds a Master of Arts degree in school psychology from Alfred University, a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in psychology from Skidmore College, and received a certificate as a school district administrator from the State University College at Cortland Graduate School of Education.
According to the Clark Foundation, the scholarship program is one of the largest of its kind in the country. In 2012, 186 new students received $698,700 in scholarships to attend post-secondary educational institutions throughout the country, and there are 886 students in the program. Since its inception in 1961, more than 10,000 students have received more than $80 million in scholarship assistance from the Clark Foundation.