Greenport superintendent will also run New Suffolk’s education program

07/05/2012 5:00 PM |

TIM KELLY FILE PHOTO | Greenport school superintendent Mike Comanda, shown here celebrating the 2010 approval of a school renovation bond, is now also responsible for New Suffolk School.

Greenport School Superintendent Michael Comanda has been named part-time superintendent of the New Suffolk School District, effective July 1.

He received permission from the New York State Education Department to serve in both districts, said several people familiar with the matter.

Mr. Comanda agreed last school year to forgo a salary increase in Greenport, where he earns $188,000. His part-time New Suffolk salary and benefits will total $25,000 per year.

New Suffolk school board president Tony Dill said Monday that Mr. Comanda has been the district’s top choice since former superintendent Bob Feger announced his plan to retire earlier this spring. He said Mr. Feger suggested Mr. Comanda, with whom he had worked at the Hampton Bays school.

Mr. Dill said the district was impressed by Mr. Comanda’s interest in building on small schools’ strengths, including individualized instruction and multi-age classrooms.

“His approach is very much in line with what the board wanted to do,” said Mr. Dill. “He has energized the teaching staff.”

Mr. Comanda was not available for comment Monday. Greenport Board of Education president Tina Volinski said he discussed taking the New Suffolk position with school board members, who didn’t believe the additional post would hinder his ability to fulfill his duties in Greenport.

Mr. Feger said Monday that he’s working with Mr. Comanda on filing state documents for teacher evaluations and on finding a temporary replacement for New Suffolk’s head teacher Holly Plymale, who is taking a leave of absence next year.

“We’ve just got a couple things to put to bed,” said Mr. Feger. “Things are going along really well. I think this decision is not only unique but a special thing. I’m looking forward to watching what’s going on in New Suffolk.”

Mr. Feger, who has served in various administrative capacities at schools throughout the East End over the past 18 years and has been an educator for 47 years, said his next big plan is to go fishing.

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