The Shelter Island School District is faced with replacing not just Superintendent Leonard Skuggevik but also its business manager, Tim Laube. Mr. Laube came to the district two years ago after working as clerk to the Suffolk County Legislature.
Mr. Laube will become business manager for the Eastport-South Manor School District, where he acknowledged his pay would be higher than he has been earning on Shelter Island. But money didn’t motivate his decision, he said.
Rather, it will put him six miles from home instead of the hour and a half commute he’s had to the Island, he said.
“It’s not like I don’t love it here because I do,” Mr. Laube said.
When the job at Eastport-South Manor opened up a few weeks ago he was invited to apply for it.
“It was a difficult decision,” Mr. Laube said. He pledged to assist the district in finding a successor, although he said many of those he knows who would be qualified would face the same long commute he’s had.
Announcement of his resignation came from Town Supervisor Jim Dougherty, who said Tuesday he was sorry to hear that Mr. Laube would be leaving the district because working with him on various projects involving both the town and school district has been a positive experience.
“It has been a pleasure to work with him,” Board of Education President Thomas Graffagnino agreed. Mr. Laube brought “a sense of assurance to the job” and his input on a successor will be valuable, Mr. Graffagnino said.
Mr. Laube said he would be available nights and weekends to assist in the transition and training of his successor.
Mr. Laube’s experience with the Suffolk County Legislature enabled him to link up the grant-funded installation of a new septic system at the American Legion Post with needs of the school for an upgrade, according to Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor).
The first year of Mr. Laube’s tenure with the district in putting together the 2016-17 budget was rocky and that budget pierced the went beyond the state’s 2 percent tax cap, forcing a vote of 60 percent to survive.
It passed by only two votes.
But the Board of Education had nothing but praise for his work on the 2017-18 budget that passed comfortably, 345 to 176.
The Board of Education is close to naming a replacement for Mr. Skuggevik, Mr. Graffagnino said. Mr. Skuggevik’s three-year contract expires in early August. An announcement won’t come at the district’s reorganization meeting on July 13, but is more likely to happen at a special meeting sometime in July,
At this point, no firm decision has been made and no papers have been signed with a new superintendent, the school board president said.