By Amanda Wyatt
Todd Gulluscio is a man used to wearing many hats. During his tenure in the Greenport School District, the Shelter Island native learned how to juggle responsibilities as its director of athletics, physical education department chair and dean of discipline.
This experience may serve Gulluscio well in January, when assumes his post as Sag Harbor’s new director of athletics, physical education, health, wellness and personnel.
Gulluscio was appointed to the position for the Sag Harbor School District at the board of education’s Monday, December 3 meeting, where he was warmly welcomed.
“This gentleman duly impressed me,” said Dr. Carl Bonuso, interim school superintendent. “He just has an enthusiasm that is infectious.”
“The lines that we received when we called for his references said, ‘You don’t have a good man. You have a great man,’” he added.
Chris Tice, vice president of the school board, said in January, the board would look for opportunities for parents and community members to meet with Gulluscio, such as at PTA and PTSA meetings. More information on times to meet with the new athletic director will appear on the school website at a later date, she said.
Gulluscio will serve a two year probationary term beginning January 2, 2013 and ending on January 2, 2015. He will earn a $90,000 salary annually.
For over seven years, Gulluscio has worked in the Greenport School District, and he has spent the past two and a half as its director of athletics. However, he said in an interview this week, teaching and playing sports have been his lifelong passions.
“Ever since I was a kid … [I knew] that’s what I wanted to do,” he said.
While attending Shelter Island High School, Gulluscio was an avid basketball and baseball fan. After graduation, Gulluscio headed to Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida, and while still an undergraduate, began coaching basketball, and eventually moved into coaching field hockey, soccer and other sports as well.
Gulluscio returned to the East End where he received a master’s degree in elementary education from Long Island University’s Southampton College, now Stony Brook Southampton. He also has an administration degree from Dowling College, as well as a permanent certificate in physical education.
A self-proclaimed “lifelong East Ender,” Gulluscio still lives on Shelter Island with his family. His wife, Jennifer, is a teacher in the Shelter Island school district, where his two children, Tyler and Caitlyn, attend elementary school.
Over the years, Gulluscio said he has noticed an increase in the variety of sports played at local schools.
“There are more travel leagues and more opportunities, actually, for kids than when I was growing up,” he said. “I think it’s fantastic, the amount of the opportunities there are for kids. I hope we can strengthen them.”
Gulluscio plans to do just that when assumes his new job next month. Still, he said he is aware that working in Sag Harbor will be a different ballgame than working in Greenport or even Shelter Island.
“When I get here in January, I’m really going to have to grasp hold of the Sag Harbor culture,” he said. “While they’re all small East End towns and villages, each one of them does things a little differently.”
“It may not necessarily be the biggest challenge, but it’s the first challenge,” Gulluscio said. “For me, it’s most important to assess where we are now when I come on board, and to listen to folks and see what the interests are.”
In addition to overseeing athletics, Gulluscio’s job will also involve a number of administrative duties. In this capacity, he will have to contend with new state mandates, such as Annual Professional Performance Reviews (APPR) and concussion management plans.
When asked whether he was concerned about how these new initiatives would affect his new job, Gulluscio said he wasn’t too worried.
“We’re all going through the process together, it’s not one thing on me,” he said. “For me, we’re all in this together — one big team.”
“I’m really looking forward to being here,” he added. “In January, I’m ready to hit the ground running.”