Board of Ed: A night of goodbyes and celebrations

The Shelter Island Board of Education has hired an interim superintendent to take the helm when Christine Finn leaves the district at the end of the month. But Allan Gerstenlauer may never take the post.

Mr. Gerstenlauer, a Shelter Island resident, has been an interim superintendent in several districts, currently in Amagansett, since he retired from the Longwood District after more than 30 years. He has agreed to come aboard here, for whatever time it takes the Board of Education to name a permanent replacement for Ms. Finn. Board President Thomas Graffagnino said at Monday night’s meeting it’s possible a superintendent could be named as early as the end of this week. The Board of Education was meeting with two candidates this week and Mr. Graffagnino said it’s possible one of the two could be named to the job.

At the same time, Board member Mark Kanarvogel said a candidate named would have to give the district he or she would be leaving 30 to 45 days notice, meaning Mr. Gerstenlauer would be around for much, if not all, of the summer.

Mr. Graffagnino and Mr. Kanarvogel are also leaving the Board of Education. Monday night was their final meeting as both opted not to seek re-election last month.

Ms. Finn, teacher Chris Conrady and others put together slide shows honoring the years the two men have served on the Board — 12 for Mr. Graffagnino and 11 for Mr. Kanarvogel.

There were gifts — a mini emergency beeper for Mr. Kanarvogel who is an EMT on the Island, where he sometimes had to arrive late or leave early to answer an emergency call — and a shirt with the number 65 emblazoned on it for Mr. Graffagnino. The number recalls the write-in votes Mr. Graffagnino received a few years ago when he intended to resign from the Board of Education. The public wasn’t ready to let him go then.

It was also a night to celebrate granting tenure to two teachers — Sean Brennan in social studies and Laura Mayo in English as a second language.

A celebration with their families, friends and colleagues capped the evening with cupcakes provided by Board Clerk Jacki Dunning.

A change in title but not in responsibilities came to Jennifer Rylott. She’s been identified as academic administrator, but the title never elaborated on her responsibilities, Ms. Finn said. She will now be director of pupil personnel, data and instruction while keeping her compensation package, tenure and seniority.

The Board of Education will hold its reorganizational meeting Monday, July 8, at 6 p.m. when Jason Lones and Katharine Rossi-Snook take their seats for full terms. Mr. Lones was appointed to the Board last spring, filling the seat of Elizabeth Melichar.

In May, John Klupka Sr. won that seat for a one-year term. He was sworn in immediately upon being elected.