New school official: ‘It’s all about the kids’

JULIE LANE PHOTO
Linda Haas is the Shelter Island School District’s new business leader.

Shelter Island School District’s new business leader doesn’t fit the profile of someone you might expect — despite her love of business, she’s not totally consumed with numbers.

Linda Haas’ background in business, including certification and experience in school district administration, belies the reality that her initial ambition was in the entertainment world as a singer.

Ms. Haas actually launched her own business at age 10. She was tall for her age and people assumed she was older when she started her baby-sitting business in Massapequa where she grew up the youngest of four children.

When she shared her show business aspirations with her parents, they quickly dispelled the notion, advising her to go on to college and pursue a more down-to-earth career.

Ms. Haas got a scholarship for voice from Molloy in Rockville Centre, and took a minor in accounting, following with an MBA in accounting from Adelphi University. After receiving a professional diploma in School District Business Administration from C.W. Post Campus, she earned certifications as a New York State School Business Administrator and New York State School District Administrator.

But she never abandoned her performing passion — singing at Carnegie Hall during her studies at Molloy — and is thinking of offering a concert at the school and perhaps linking up with a theater group.

Living in Seaford, she’s looking for a house here or nearby. While she can ride her bicycle to the beach in Seaford and could ride to Jones Beach when she was growing up, she always wanted to live in a community like this, surrounded by water.

“I love it out here — even the drive,” Ms. Haas said. “I walk in feeling at peace,” adding that friends and family have told her it obviously suits her well. What they’re seeing is a happiness, a comfort level about how the various parts of her life come together.

She has worked as a business consultant in the Hicksville School District; assistant business manager in Levittown; assistant business manager in Copiague; and served an internship in Massapequa. Coming to the Island from the larger districts where she developed her skills, she likes the idea of being in a small district where she can interact with students as well as crunch numbers.

A former school basketball star, she’ll be coaching the junior varsity girls basketball team. She’s looking forward to interacting with the girls, helping them develop strength and confidence and a belief they can achieve whatever they set out to do.

Being in a smaller district and being able to work with students is a constant reminder that what you’re doing in the business office is “all about the kids,” Ms. Haas said.

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