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.
Leonard Skuggevik is set to replace Shelter Island Superintendent Michael Hynes, whose resignation was effective last Friday, July 25. Mr. Hynes is now the superintendent for the Patchogue-Medford School District.
Members of the Shelter Island Board of Education declined comment this week on the appointment, but Mr. Skuggevik confirmed Tuesday via email he’s accepted the position.
“I can’t wait to meet the students and their families, the faculty and staff” on Shelter Island, he said. “I’ve heard great things and look forward to continuing down the path that they have set.”
Details about Mr. Skuggevik’s contract, salary and other terms of his employment weren’t available because the Shelter Island school board has yet signed off on the deal.
The principal’s departure comes a couple of weeks before David Gamberg takes the helm as Greenport’s new superintendent.
Mr. Gamberg, who will also continue to serve as Southold School District superintendent, will split his time between the districts over the next two years. State officials believe the shared-superintendent agreement is a first for Long Island’s K-12 school districts.
When asked if he had been interested in applying for the superintendent position at Greenport after Mike Comanda announced his retirement last summer, Mr. Skuggevik said, “I considered many things in making my decision.” He said he’s thankful to the Greenport community for its support and cherishes his experience as its secondary school principal.
“It is always difficult to leave a place where you are happy and have made such good friends,” Mr. Skuggevik said. “It has been a true honor and privilege working here.”
Before coming to Greenport, Mr. Skuggevik was an assistant principal for the Longwood School District in Middle Island and had previously taught social studies for several years in the Longwood, Oyster Bay and Amityville districts.
Before entering the education profession, Mr. Skuggevik served in the U.S. Army and was involved with operations Just Cause in Panama and Desert Storm.
He and his wife, Jenellen, live in Coram and have three children: Rachel, 19; Scott, 18; and Craig, 17.
Mr. Skuggevik said he hopes to move out to the East End after Craig graduates from high school next June.
“I moved around a lot as a child and I promised I would never do that to my children,” he said. “I would love to be able to move to Shelter Island.”
Mr. Skuggevik said he learned about the opening on Shelter Island through an online employment listing and said he’s excited he found an opportunity that will allow him to move up in his career while continuing to work with children.
“I wanted to grow professionally, but still be a part of the East End and — most importantly — still be able to interact with students,” he said. “It isn’t often that superintendents are still able to interact with students and get to know them personally and be involved in their lives.”
The Greenport school board has scheduled a special meeting Monday, Aug. 4, at 4:30 p.m. in the auditorium to discuss replacing Mr. Skuggevik.
Additional reporting by Julie Lane.
Click on the tab below to read Mr. Skuggevik’s final Greenport High School graduation speech.