By Kathryn G. Menu
This week, the Bridgehampton Board of Education announced that Dr. Lois R. Favre will take the helm at the Bridgehampton School this August when Superintendent Dr. Dianne Youngblood retires.
Dr. Favre will be formally presented to the Bridgehampton community at a school board work session Wednesday night, where it is expected the board will pass a resolution naming her the new superintendent. She will begin her work in the district as Deputy Superintendent on July 1, officially taking the reins from Dr. Youngblood on August 3.
“We really felt like she was the perfect fit for the Bridgehampton School,” said school board president Elizabeth Kotz on Tuesday. “She understands our smaller learning community and the emphasis on individual learning styles.”
After Dr. Youngblood announced her retirement last summer, the school board hired School Leadership, LLC, the same firm the Sag Harbor School District employed to find its Superintendent Dr. John Gratto over two years ago. According to an announcement sent in Spanish and English to members of the Bridgehampton community, School Leadership, LLC used surveys, interviews, meetings and forums with the community, teachers and students to discern what qualities the new superintendent should have.
On Tuesday, Kotz said 53 candidates submitted resumes for the position, although citing privacy, decline to say how many became finalists for the superintendent position.
“In making its decision, the board sought a proven communicator with leadership skills in short and long-range planning, finance and budgeting, a solid foundation in human resource administration, and the ability to work effectively with a board of education,” the school board said in a written statement. “Dr. Favre has been an educator, has a broad K-12 understanding and is an experienced, hands-on administrator who will be visible at school and community events and is willing to make a long-term commitment to this vital leadership role.”
Prior to Superintendent Dr. Theodore Grocki, who was hired in 2001 and groomed Dr. Youngblood before she took the superintendent’s position in 2003, the Bridgehampton School had five superintendents over the course of five years. At a community forum in January, district residents asked the board to choose a superintendent who not only understood the close-knit nature of the Bridgehampton community, but would also stay with the district for at least five years.
Dr. Favre was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ladycliff College in Highland Falls, New York before earning her Master’s degree in special education from Mount St. Mary’s College in Newburgh, New York. She received a Doctorate in Instructional Leadership from St. John’s University, earning Best Doctoral Dissertation at St. John’s University and with the International Learning Styles Board in 2003.
Before joining the Lakeland Central School District in 2005 – where she was named Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Curriculum in 2006 – Dr. Favre spent four years at Monroe-Woodbury Central School District as Director of Pupil Personnel Services for Special Education. During her tenure in the Lakeland Central School, that district was designated a Demonstration School District of Excellence for its work with Learning Styles, an educational focus of Dr. Favre’s that Kotz said appealed to the Bridgehampton School.
Published in several educational journals over the last decade, Dr. Favre also publishes a monthly article for the website Learning Disabilities Worldwide. She remains active as a member of the board of directors of The International Learning Styles Conference.
“Dr. Favre is a strong advocate and supporter of students, staff, families, community agencies, and parent teacher organizations,” said the board of education in its statement. “Her insight regarding student learning and her ability to assist in bringing quality enrichment programs to Bridgehampton School will be invaluable.”
On Tuesday, Kotz said the staff and faculty of the Bridgehampton School was informed of the board’s decision that morning and the response was positive. The board of education, she added, was “100 percent unified” in the decision to hire Dr. Favre.
“She will be able to keep the momentum going, keep us moving forward with the kind of programming Dr. Youngblood began,” said Kotz. “It will be a seamless, beautiful transition.”