Mattituck hired superintendent at special meeting last month

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07/09/2014 3:32 PM |
Anne Smith is new superintendent for the Mattituck-Cutchogue School District. (Credit: Jennifer Gustavson, file)

Anne Smith is the new superintendent for the Mattituck-Cutchogue School District. (Credit: Jennifer Gustavson, file)

The Mattituck school board approved a contract to hire Anne Smith as the district’s first female superintendent during a special meeting last month, The Suffolk Times has learned.

The seven-member board held the meeting June 26 and unanimously approved a three-year agreement with Ms. Smith at a starting salary of $190,000, school board officials said Wednesday. That’s about $1,000 less than current Superintendent James McKenna was paid for this school year.

Ms. Smith has served the district for 17 years and currently serves as both assistant superintendent and elementary school principal. She has lived in Mattituck since 1985 and all three of her children have attended district schools.

The new contract takes effect Aug. 1. Mr. McKenna will retire at the end of July after serving the district for nearly 25 years.

“We’re just thrilled that Anne accepted the position and that she’ll remain with the district,” said school board president Jerry Diffley. “She’ll continue the great leadership we had with Jim and will add her own touch to things for years to come.”

Mr. McKenna had previously told The Suffolk Times that no action would be taken at the June 26 special meeting. Neither he nor Ms. Smith responded to requests for comment on this story.

In January, the board approved a resolution by a split vote to enter into contract negotiations with Ms. Smith for the post. The board is expected to accept her resignation as principal at its reorganizational meeting Thursday. (Scroll down to view the complete agenda).

The board will also retroactively approve an assistant superintendent contract for Ms. Smith for the previous school year, during which she worked without a contract, according to a meeting agenda.

Ms. Smith, business manger Michael Engelhardt, district clerk Catherine Gilliard and school security guard Gary Spath are not members of the district’s administrators union because they hold central office positions. All have been without a contract since July 1, 2013. Ms. Smith was paid about $158,000 in 2013-14, according to Newsday.

Also on Thursday’s meeting agenda is a contract for Kathleen Devine, who is not currently affiliated with the district, to replace Ms. Smith as principal at Cutchogue East Elementary School.

Additional details about Ms. Devine were not immediately available.

When asked why the district hadn’t announced the hiring of the new superintendent, Mr. Diffley said it is putting together a press release that would also include details about Ms. Devine.

“We were going to appoint Anne at the reorg meeting, but we thought it would be better to do it before so she could resign as principal, because we were interviewing principal candidates,” he said. “It was kind of a cascade effect.”

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Mattituck BOE Reorg & Regular Meeting Agendas July 10 2014