The Greenport and Southold school boards struck a unique deal in September 2013 to share a superintendent, something unseen in the 120 other kindergarten through 12th-grade districts on Long Island.
Now, a year and a half later, the schools plan to continue with Superintendent David Gamberg serving a dual role.
“I’m certainly willing to continue this arrangement,” said Mr. Gamberg, who began the dual role in July 2014. “I see it as being beneficial to the taxpayers and it’s my hope and expectation that we will continue to realize positive, shared resource opportunities for both districts by my being in the two systems.”
Mr. Gamberg said that by sharing the duties of superintendent each district saves over $100,000, which is “helpful to preserve staff positions and programs for students.”
These programs include shared opportunities, such as offering a program where Greenport students can take classes at Southold High School and vice-versa. Students also combine to create sports teams and put on theatre performances. Additionally, Greenport hired a third physical education teacher during the 2015-16 school year.
Mr. Gamberg’s original two-year contract is set expire at the end of this school year.
The decision to offer Mr. Gamberg a contract renewal was made at a joint school board meeting earlier this year, Southold Board of Education president Paulette Ofrias said, adding that it was unanimous amongst the board members.
“We couldn’t ask for anything better,” she said. “[We look forward to] continuing to explore more options of sharing with Greenport.”
Now that all three parties have agreed to continue the current agreement, decisions about the length of the contract and board resolutions will take place, beginning at the district’s November school board meetings. Mr. Gamberg said the minimum contract length is one year, but the group has the option of making it longer.
When the original decision to have a shared superintendent was announced in 2013, State Senator Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) applauded the idea.
“I think more districts will be looking at ways that they can cooperate,” Mr. LaValle said when asked about the future of such arrangements. “Working together and providing shared services should be a first step and a no-brainer for many schools.”
Although other schools have yet to adopt the idea, remaining a dual superintendent is something Mr. Gamberg is eager to continue doing thanks to his positive experience thus far, he said.
“So after 18 months I can say that it feels very good in terms of the fact that in both districts I see great things happening,” he said. “It gives me a real bird’s-eye view of all of the good things happening now in two places rather than one. That is very refreshing for me.”