By Amanda Wyatt
In an unexpected twist in the search for Sag Harbor’s new superintendent, the Board of Education unanimously voted on Monday to extend Interim Superintendent Dr. Carl Bonuso’s contract for another year.
Dr. Bonuso, who was appointed to the position last summer following the resignation of the previous Superintendent, Dr. John Gratto, will continue his duties through the 2013-2014 school year. He is expected to earn $197,690.08.
At Monday evening’s Board of Education meeting, President Theresa Samot made the announcement.
“I’m extremely to tell everyone tonight that Dr. Bonuso has agreed to stay with us for another year,” she said.
In a press release, Samot added since assuming his post on August 15, 2012, Dr. Bonuso had “displayed his enthusiasm, expertise, caring, and commitment to the Sag Harbor school family. His instructional leadership, mentoring, and managerial style have been impressive and integral in facilitating continued excellence in our school district.”
She noted that the decision to extend Dr. Bonuso’s contract for another year came on the heels of November’s community-based focus groups with School Leadership, LLC, the consulting firm hired to oversee the superintendent search.
During these meetings, members of the community offered their input on the qualities and characteristics they hoped to see in a superintendent. They also voiced their opinions on the goals of the district, as well as the challenges that a prospective superintendent would face.
“Many of the comments that we heard from those focus groups overwhelmingly were a collective call for Dr. Bonuso and his leadership qualities and styles,” Samot said.
Vice President Chris Tice agreed, suggesting that Dr. Bonuso was best equipped to lead the district during this time of transition.
“The additional year will allow for a more appropriate period of transition to an eventual selection of a permanent superintendent,” she said in a press release.
“This veteran administrator in the interim, however, will bring experience and expertise to the immediate challenges we face, to include: curriculum reform, implementation of the new teacher/principal evaluation system, facilities review, short and long term financial planning, and mentoring of our leadership team,” Tice noted.
“We’re just very thankful to have Carl for another year,” added BOE member Sandi Kruel.
At Monday’s meeting, Dr. Bonuso said that within days of joining the district, he told his family that he felt as if he were “inheriting another family…This school district is the best of the best. It’s the most remarkable example of the very best that this profession is about, and just the caring and love.”
“When I contract with you,” Dr. Bonuso said, “I’ll be contracting whatever intellectual acumen that I bring to the table, but I will be contracting my heart as well, and giving it all that I can—a total commitment.”