The board of education at the Jan. 21 meeting. Photo: Maria Piedrabuena

What is Riverhead Central Faculty Association president Greg Wallace talking about with his reference to conducting the interview process for a new superintendent through BES? [See June 29 story: Riverhead school superintendent resigns] To my knowledge, there has only been one time in which the school district did not follow the usual protocol in hiring a superintendent and that was when Nancy Carney was hired in 2010 after Diane Scricca resigned. By that, I mean the job was not posted, and the BOE was asked to make an unprecedented decision.

There were times that the school district did not use BOCES in this search. The hiring of the current superintendent was one such case. The BOE elected to do the search on its own. There were numerous applicants and a district-wide committee was established for the selection process. The Riverhead Central Faculty Association participated in that process. If you feel this appointment was a mistake, your union participated in this process!

The reason the BOE elected to do the search on its own was two-fold. 1) To save money. Each time a school district engages the services of BOCES, there is an additional charge on top of the administrative charges the Riverhead School District pays each year. 2) The BOE wished to expand the pool of applicants other than those that were available through BOCES.

So here we are 10 years later, and the BOE is appointing an Interim Superintendent upon a resignation. Do they plan to appoint her to the permanent position? She is in a tenured position now and would be crazy to accept the superintendency, which cannot be a tenured position. So, who calls the shots here— the BOE, the teachers’ union, or the community? Maybe we could just let BOCES pick our next superintendent.

The Riverhead School District has had a “revolving door of superintendents” in the past, most of whom came through the BOCES process. This BOE needs to take a different approach. And, Mr. Wallace, bring your big guns to the interview process… that is, if the Riverhead school district can attract any outstanding candidates — considering how we treated this superintendent who is resigning.

Ann Cotten-DeGrasse

The author is a former RCSD teacher, former teachers’ union president, and former president of the Riverhead Board of Education

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