Sachem Schools to host community forum as part of search for new superintendent

LAKE RONKONKOMA, NY (OnSachem.com / OnTownMedia.com) — The Sachem community will have an opportunity to weigh in on the search for a new school district superintendent.

The Sachem Central School District's Board of Education trustees will host a virtual community forum on Thursday, June 4 from 7-8 p.m. led by their search consultants, District Wise Search Consultants. Information about how to attend the virtual forum is at www.sachem.edu. Select "Superintendent Search" on the homepage.

"The intent of the forum is to collect input from the community to assist the district in the creation of a 'profile' for the next Superintendent," Sachem Schools wrote in an announcement. 

“Community and student participation at this event are very important, as all information gathered will be included anonymously in a report that will be prepared for the Board,” the district added.

For those unable to attend the meeting or who prefer to provide suggestions and opinions privately, a confidential email address has been established by the consultants. Residents can share their ideas by emailing SachemSupSearch@DistrictWiseSearch.com. Emails will be accepted until June 17 to include in the report. Emails received after this date will be forwarded anonymously to the Board of Education.

As OnSachem reported on May 5 (read article here), current superintendent Kenneth Graham will leave the district to become the superintendent of the Locust Valley Central School District, effective July 1. Graham joined Sachem Schools as superintendent in 2016. On May 6, during Sachem Schools’ regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting, the board named John O’Keefe as the interim superintendent (read article here). O’Keefe has been Sachem's Deputy Superintendent.

During the May 6 meeting, board president Laura Slattery said the board hopes to name a permanent superintendent by the end of summer. Slattery said internal candidates and external candidates will be considered.

Terms for three of the nine seats on the school board end June 30, which means incoming board members may also serve key roles in selecting the new superintendent. OnSachem profiled the candidates for the June 9 election. The profiles include characteristics the candidates said they would seek in a new superintendent (read article here).

The new superintendent will lead the second-largest suburban school district in New York State. Sachem Schools has an enrollment of approximately 13,500 students. There are 10 elementary schools, three middle schools, and two 9-12 high schools in use today. The district closed two elementary schools and one middle school in 2016 as part of a redistricting during a budget crisis and declining enrollment.

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