One supe, three districts? Not happening

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11/29/2013 8:00 AM |
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Southold superintendent David Gamberg.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Southold superintendent David Gamberg.

First, Greenport Superintendent Michael Comanda said he’ll retire at the end of the school year. Then it was announced that Southold Superintendent David Gamberg will lead both districts.

Now, less than a week later, Mattituck-Cutchogue Superintendent James McKenna has announced he’ll also retire in July.

So is it possible that Mr. Gamberg could serve as the chief of all three local high school districts?

He says there’s not a chance, even if that taxpayers’ dream scenario has been buzzing on the North Fork rumor mill this week.

Mr. Gamberg said he’s focused solely on becoming Greenport and Southold’s superintendent for the next two years.

“I wish him all the best,” he said of Mr. McKenna. “I’ve enjoyed working with him and congratulate him on his retirement.”

Anne Smith, Mattituck-Cutchogue’s assistant superintendent and elementary school principal, who started in the district in 1996, could be a leading candidate to replace Mr. McKenna but declined to discuss the possibility in any detail.

“The Board of Education has the full responsibility and oversight to determine leadership decisions,” Ms. Smith said. “I don’t know what the board’s direction will be. Right now, we’re focused on Jim’s retirement and celebrating his achievements.”

School board president Jerry Diffley said after Thursday’s meeting that he doesn’t believe sharing a superintendent with a neighboring district is feasible since Mr. Gamberg has already signed on to be Greenport’s next superintendent and Riverhead School District Superintendent Nancy Carney is responsible for more than 5,000 students. Mattituck has about 1,400 students.

The school board is looking to work with BOCES to initiate a superintendent search within the next few weeks, Mr. Diffley said.

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