Assistant Superintendent for Business Neil Sanders retires after 19 years with the district

A man wearing a suit stands at the podium to deliver a presentation to the board of education.
Assistant Superintendent for Business Neil Sanders delivers a budget presentation to the board of education.

As he has done many times before, Assistant Superintendent for Business Neil Sanders gave a budget presentation at the Dec. 6 Guilderland Central School District board of education meeting. Despite the complexity of the topic, he delivered the information in his typical straightforward, clear and concise manner. There was just one small difference. When he finished, Mr. Sanders was honored with a standing ovation from his colleagues, the board and all in attendance, because after 19 years, this would be his final GCSD budget presentation. Mr. Sanders will retire from the district on Dec. 31.

The board of education gives Assistant Superintendent for Business Neil Sanders a standing ovation.

Mr. Sanders joined GCSD in 2003

Mr. Sanders joined the Guilderland Central School District in October 2003. A resident of Guilderland, he felt fortunate to work for the district his children attended and graduated from, one that he characterizes as a “premier district with a great reputation.” Mr. Sanders describes the Guilderland Central School District as “unique because the mission of educating students is a shared responsibility.” As he explained, the district administration is a team that values collaboration; there are no isolated silos. “We meet regularly across all levels of the organization so everyone knows what others are working on…we problem solve as a team. Building strong bonds benefits everyone: the staff, students, families and taxpayers.”

When asked about some of the highlights of his tenure at GCSD, Mr. Sanders recalls the many capital improvement projects conducted over the years as well as an audit by the Office of the New York State Comptroller. In 2017 auditors spent four months reviewing cash disbursements, and could not find a single issue to report. Again, Mr. Sanders points out that the credit for such a positive conclusion goes to others in the organization. “It’s not just me; everybody does their part. The outcome of that audit was the result of the cumulative efforts of everyone throughout the district doing all the right things to protect the interest of the taxpayers.”

Mr. Sanders emphasized that he is very appreciative of the opportunity to work for the Guilderland Central School District, in large part because of the district staff. “The non-instructional side of the district doesn’t always get its due,” explained Mr. Sanders. “They are often the people in the background who help make things happen and are critical to our mission.”

A “consummate professional and a gentleman”

Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Regan Johnson applauds Assistant Superintendent for Business Neil Sanders.

At the Dec. 6 board meeting, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Marie Wiles, spoke about the effect Mr. Sanders has had on the district. “I can’t underscore enough how much this community and this district have benefited from his steady hands at the wheel in helping the Guilderland Central School District navigate some very difficult financial times, political times, economic times and pandemic times,” said Dr. Wiles. “In the district office, we are immensely thankful that we’ve had a partner in this work who is unflappable, a consummate professional, a gentleman and a kind person. He truly understands the mission of what we do as a school district and that is rare among those whose role is primarily financial. Mr. Sanders understands that balancing the budget is important but that there’s so much more to it.”

Other board members echoed the sentiment that Mr. Sanders’ concern extended beyond budget and numbers to focus on the people of the district. Board President Seema Rivera said, “It’s easy as the numbers person to just crunch numbers, but you are truly in this for the students. You always talk about the school community.”

Dr. Wiles, expressing what many of Mr. Sanders’ colleagues felt, thanked him for his dedication to the district. “On my own behalf and that of everyone at the district, I want to say thank you for your commitment to the Guilderland Central School District and to this entire community. You have made this district a better place. You will be missed.”

Assistant Superintendent for Business Neil Sanders addresses the board and audience at the Dec. 6 meeting.

With plans to travel and pursue some hobbies, Mr. Sanders will continue to reside in the district he knows so well. “I want to say what a great experience it’s been. I’m so humbled and happy to have worked with people who are so committed to this district and who do an outstanding job in helping to educate the children in Guilderland and to support their families. It’s been a pleasure to work here; I’m going to miss it greatly. I appreciate all of you and what you’ve done for me.”

The district is not responsible for facts or opinions contained on any linked site. Some links and features on this site require the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view. Visit the Adobe website to download the free Acrobat Reader. This website was produced by the Capital Region BOCES Communications Service, Albany, NY. Copyright © 2023. All rights reserved.