Superintendent Search

Announcing Carmel's New Superintendent of Schools

 Dr. Erin Meehan-Fairben 

February 25, 2024

Dear Carmel Community,

Following an extensive search process, it is with great pleasure and enthusiasm that the Carmel Central School District Board of Education announces the appointment of Erin Meehan-Fairben, Ed.D., as our new Superintendent of Schools. Dr. Fairben emerged as the top candidate by demonstrating a wealth of experience, a proven track record of educational leadership and a deep commitment to student success.  

Dr. Fairben has been in the field of education for the past 32 years. She has taught at elementary, middle, and high school as well as college-level courses for aspiring educators at SUNY Brockport, St. John Fisher, and Hobart and William Smith colleges.  She has held various leadership roles over the past 22 years at both the building and district level including Assistant Principal, Principal, Director of Pupil Personnel Services and Special Programs, Superintendent of the NYS School for the Blind, Director of P16, Assistant Superintendent and most recently as an Associate Superintendent at the Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES. Throughout her career, she has worked tirelessly to support all students and has expanded educational opportunities for students through collaboration, effective communication, and visionary leadership.  Dr. Fairben brings with her decades of leadership experience in building strong relationships with her staff and community.  

Dr. Fairben’s final interview on January 6th yielded overwhelmingly positive feedback from the Stakeholders during this collaborative and productive interview. “I have spent the last 32 years creating a voice for the voiceless,” Dr. Fairben said, adding, “I’ve worked very hard to create inclusive practices in every district I have served.”  

“Erin is passionate and truly concerned about the relationship with the community and the students,” one attendee said. “I appreciate her concerns for the school district and the success of it as a whole.” Another attendee expressed, “Dr. Fairben is knowledgeable, personable, well-spoken and answered the questions with required knowledge and experience.” 

The feedback received from Stakeholders during the search process was invaluable in informing The Board of Education's decision. We carefully considered the input from our survey, staff, and community forums, giving weight to the aspirations, priorities, and concerns discussed. By incorporating this broad range of perspectives, we sought to ensure that our decision aligns with our community’s collective values and vision. We believe we found the right match in Dr. Fairben, an educational leader known for setting rigorous academic standards while creating an optimistic and accepting environment that allows every student access to a high-quality education.

Dr. Fairben holds a bachelor's and master's 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. She also holds permanent Teaching Special Education Certification and both School District and School Building Certifications. 

Dr. Fairben is no stranger to the Carmel community. Board of Education President Dawn Dall said, “It is quite evident that her heart never left Carmel.”  She was born in Putnam County Hospital and lived in the district until she was about five years old. Her personal ties to the district run even deeper; her father, Richard R. Meehan, was the youngest Superintendent of the Carmel Central School District in 1973. As history would have it, Dr. Fairben will follow in her late father’s footsteps.  Her appointment is scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2024. At that time, she will sit in the same office where her father once sat.

“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,” Board of Education President Dall said.

Dr. Fairben has two adult children, Anna and Edward. Her husband, Kevin, also works in school administration. 

"It is a privilege to be selected by the Board of Education as the next superintendent of this great district,” Dr. Fairben said. “I come to you looking forward to building on the traditions and successes of the Carmel Central School District.”



Carmel Central School District Board of Education
Dawn Dall, President
Valerie Crocco, Vice President
John C. Curzio II
Jordi Douglas
Melissa Orser
Jason Paraskeva
James Wise