Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and Elementary Education Lori Koerner. Courtesy photo: Riverhead Central School District

The Riverhead Board of Education approved the promotion of one administrator and the resignation of another during its regular meeting Tuesday evening.

The board promoted Lori Koerner to the new position of Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and Elementary Education effective Tuesday. Koerner was hired by the district in 2019 as the district’s executive director of curriculum, instruction and professional personnel, the position she held until the promotion. 

The board voted 6-1 in favor of the resolutions, with Trustee Christopher Dorr dissenting.

The promotion comes with a $30,000 raise, boosting Koerner’s annual salary to $199,472. An amendment to her employment contract also adds a longevity payment of 2.5% of her annual salary as of her fifth year of employment with the district, in addition to the longevity payment already in her contract at her 10th continuous year of employment.

The new agreement also amends Koerner’s insurance benefits to have the district provide vision coverage at no cost to the employee and reduces the amount the employee must contribute to her health insurance at the time of retirement from 20% to 15% of the premium cost.

According to the district’s most recent organizational chart, Koerner already reported directly to Superintendent Augustine Tornatore. It isn’t clear whether Koerner’s responsibilities in the district or position on that chart will change. After Tuesday’s board meeting, Tornatore said he was unable to talk to a reporter. He did not respond to an email today before this article was published.

The board on Tuesday night also accepted the resignation of Assistant Superintendent of Finance of Operations Sam Schneider, who was hired last week by the East Hampton Union Free School District as the assistant superintendent for business. 

Last October, Schneider was demoted from his previous position of deputy superintendent and then “administratively reassigned” pending an investigation into unspecified allegations from an employee, according to district officials.

Schneider’s exit from the district still leaves many questions unanswered, including the details of the district’s investigation into the allegation and what Schneider was doing during his reassignment. A settlement agreement approved by the board of education in January states Schneider will be paid full compensation through the end of the current school year contract.

[See prior coverage: School district business official to be paid full compensation for balance of his contract term]

In response to Schneider’s resignation, the board also changed the title of the school’s current Acting Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations Faith Caglianone to Interim Superintendent of Finance and Operations. Her salary remains at $100 per hour.

The board also authorized the abolition of an “excess position” within the administrative tenure area of the director of ENL and World Languages 7-12 at the end of the current school year “for purposes of economy and/or efficiency.” The full-time position is the least senior administrator in the area and is identified in the resolution only as Employee No. 10132, the resolution states. The professional staff member excessed from the position shall be placed on a preferred eligible list as per education law, the resolution states.

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Alek Lewis is a lifelong Riverhead resident and a 2021 graduate of Stony Brook University’s School of Communication and Journalism. Previously, he served as news editor of Stony Brook’s student newspaper, The Statesman, and was a member of the campus’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Email: [email protected]