By Amanda Wyatt
As the fall sports season approaches, a search for a new athletic director is underway in the Sag Harbor School District.
Although the Board of Education was scheduled to appoint someone to the currently vacant position at their August 13 meeting, they decided to table the appointment for further discussion.
“The board didn’t feel like any of the candidates I recommended to them were the best fit for the position,” said Superintendent Dr. John Gratto at the meeting. “They asked me to continue the search, so that’s what I’ll do.”
In a separate interview, Board President Theresa Samot explained why the board had delayed the appointment.
“The board decided in executive session that we really wanted to look more at the job description, we wanted to talk a little bit more about [whether] we want it to be a part time position versus a full time position, and just really explore our options a little bit further,” she said.
However, during the public input portion of the last board meeting, Coach Sean Crowley said he was disappointed that an appointment had not been made.
“I hope the kids are going to have a representative in the next few weeks to get them ready for the fall season,” he said. “Jeanne DiSanti, the athletic secretary, is doing a great job, but that’s certainly not what her job description is. She’s doing the entire job right now.”
Crowley also hoped to be selected for the position.
“I coach, I teach, and I love the kids in Sag Harbor,” he said. “I think everybody in the district knows—the kids and the parents and the coaches and the umpires—that I could do [the position] very well.”
In an interview, Dr. Gratto said he had already interviewed six candidates for the job, both from within and outside the Sag Harbor School District. He hoped to find an acceptable candidate before his last day on August 17, although he noted that a decision would not be made until well after he left the district.
Gratto said he is looking for “someone with a strong skills to communicate effectively with coaches, students and parents, as well as a history of successful coaching experience.”
Prior to this month, Montgomery Granger had served as both the athletic director and the director of buildings and grounds in the district. Four years ago, Gratto had combined the two jobs, since there was some crossover in responsibilities.
While Gratto estimated that it had saved the district roughly $200,000 in the past four years, “it’s only had an average degree of effectiveness…We concluded it was too much for one person to do well.”
Now, Granger serves only as the director of buildings and grounds. While he said he was grateful for this job, he did miss working as an athletic director.
“I have a passion for athletics,” he said. “It’s really where my heart lies.
Further discussion about the appointment of an athletic director is expected to take place at the next Board of Education meeting on August 27.
In related news, an energy management project and a “lighting retrofit project” are in the works for this fall.
The school will be putting in new, more modern bulbs and other lighting fixtures in the buildings. New lighting will not only make the buildings brighter, Gratto said, it would consume less energy and save the district about $20,000 a year.