04/18/15 3:00pm
04/18/2015 3:00 PM
JULIE LANE PHOTO Superintendent Leonard Skuggevik finds music relaxes him. Over his shoulder is a picture of the World Trade Center towers where he helped with iron work on the pile at Ground Zero after the terrorist attacks.

Shelter Island Superintendent Leonard Skuggevik finds music relaxes him. Over his shoulder is a picture of the World Trade Center towers where he worked on the pile at Ground Zero after the terrorist attacks. (Credit: Julie Lane)

If Superintendent Leonard Skuggevik has been under pressure in the past couple of months preparing his first-time budget for the Shelter Island School District, it’s nothing compared to what he’s been through. And as with past pressures, music is his escape. (more…)

07/28/14 1:17pm
07/28/2014 1:17 PM

Leonard Skuggevik will be named superintendent of the Shelter Island School District, replacing Dr. Michael Hynes, sources say. (Credit: The Suffolk Times, file)

Editor’s note: The story has been updated to reflect the version that appears in the July 31st issue of The Suffolk Times.

Greenport High School’s principal of the past five years is leaving to become superintendent of the Shelter Island School District.


10/07/13 3:00pm
10/07/2013 3:00 PM

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Greenport High School principal Leonard Skuggevik presented Monday the district’s new anti-bullying program called Olweus.

The Greenport School District has launched a new program in which students will meet monthly to discuss anti-bullying methods.

Students gathered Monday morning in the auditorium where high school principal Leonard Skuggevik presented the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, a national program aimed at raising awareness about bullying.

Mr. Skuggevik said the North Fork Alliance funded the program and Greenport teachers have received Olweus training. All students in grades K-12 will meet once a month during their second period classes to go over the program and discuss how to handle real-life bullying situations. Second-period teachers will also act as anti-bullying mentors, Mr. Skuggevik said.

Although the district is pleased with the anti-bullying assemblies it has had over the past few years, including last year’s Rachel’s Challenge program, Mr. Skuggevik said he believes the new monthly arrangement will reinforce the anti-bullying message to students, because they will meet regularly to discuss the issue instead of only learning about it once a year.

The school remains focused on teaching students about the dangers of bullying, he said, even though the district has only experienced about a handful of incidents in recent years involving cyberbullying or confrontations between students.

“It’s something we want to be preventative about,” Mr. Skuggevik said after his presentation. “Just because we’re not getting a lot of it, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be making sure it doesn’t happen at all.”

During his presentation, Mr. Skuggevik told his personal story about how his family moved a lot when he was growing up and how difficult it was for him to attend five different high schools in one year. He then asked his students to not let a fellow classmate sit by himself or herself during lunch, explaining how he felt “horrible” in that situation not knowing anyone in a new school and having to sit alone.

Mr. Skuggevik also told students they will learn how to identify bullying through the program and asked students to reach out to an adult if they don’t feel comfortable confronting a bully themselves.

“You might think you’re just joking around with a friend by saying something to them all of the time and you think it’s funny because he laughs,” Mr. Skuggevik said. “Well, sometimes we laugh because we don’t want to cry.”

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09/18/13 2:57pm
09/18/2013 2:57 PM
KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO | The Class of 2013 at Greenport High School.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO | The Class of 2013 at Greenport High School.

The Greenport school board is expected to discuss student academic performance at tonight’s regular meeting.

High school principal Leonard Skuggevik and elementary school principal Joseph Tsaveras will give a presentation showing student attendance rates, regents results, AP scores and Common Core curriculum, according to the meeting agenda.

Superintendent Michael Comanda is also expected to update the school board about current renovation projects, including the building’s rooftop solar panels, high school track and elementary school playground.

Tonight’s meeting is at 7 p.m. in room 101.

Scroll down to view the complete agenda. Check back later for an update.

Greenport school board meeting agenda, Sept. 18, 2013

08/23/13 3:09pm
08/23/2013 3:09 PM

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Greenport School District athletic director Jim Caliendo, right, and high school principal Leonard Skuggevik at Thursday’s public forum discussing the school’s track.

Greenport School District officials are asking the community’s help to get the school’s track ready for competition.

During a public forum to discuss the track’s future, high school principal Leonard Skuggevik suggested to a group of parents that they focus on fundraising efforts as the district finalizes a complete list of what the track team will need this season and how much each item will cost.

Although the focus of Thursday’s meeting was about raising nearly $8,000 to purchase a high jump mat, Greenport Athletic Director Jim Caliendo said Friday he’s received calls from a few local school districts offering to donate the mat.

The Mattituck-Cutchogue and Greenport school districts are pursuing separate projects to reconstruct their respective high school tracks since ending an agreement that allowed Greenport students to practice in Mattituck.

For the past two years, Greenport athletes have practiced in Mattituck, although the districts have maintained separate track teams. During a Mattituck school board meeting in June, high school principal Shawn Petretti denied allegations that the district had canceled the agreement with Greenport and said the school was simply following Section XI rules. At the time, Mr. Petretti said Section XI, which governs high school sports in Suffolk County, states that a school district must provide facilities if enough students form a team.

Greenport school officials have said that because the announcement from Mattituck was made in the spring, there was no time to plan and budget for reconstructing their school’s track.

Since Mattituck and Greenport parted ways, the Southold School District, which doesn’t currently have a track team, has agreed to join Greenport in its efforts and plans to create a combined track team with Greenport this coming school year. The team will compete in the spring track season, which starts in March. There will not be a winter track team.

Mr. Caliendo said he believes about 100 students will play on the 7-12th grade boys and girls varsity teams this season. The teams will have three coaches.

He also gave an update on the district’s progress with the track, in which five of the six lanes are currently unusable because they are heavily covered with weeds. School officials said they believe the district last had a track team in the 1970s.

Mr. Caliendo said the Mezynieski family from Driftwood Farms in Orient and John Costello from Costello Marine Contracting in Greenport have volunteered to do the construction. He said he believes the work will be done before school starts next month. He added the district is also borrowing equipment from Mattituck schools to help fix the cinder track.

While there’s also a plan to clear weeds from Greenport’s pole vault runway, Mr. Caliendo said it will not be practice-ready for the track team this year.

He said a sand pit for long and triple jumps will be ready since the district is reusing sand recently removed from the elementary school’s playground, which is currently under construction.

Heather Walker and Lisa DeLuca, both parents of Greenport track team athletes, kicked around fundraising ideas after the public forum and said they plan to launch a Facebook page to promote the cause.

Ms. DeLuca said she was impressed with how the district was able to develop a plan within a short period of time.

“I can’t believe how you were able to get everything done,” she told Mr. Skuggevik and Mr. Caliendo. “So, thank you.”

“That’s what I’m here to do,” Mr. Caliendo replied.

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