It wasn’t students who boarded one of Greenport’s school buses Wednesday, but teachers. Specifically, it was the 12 new hires that are about to begin their first year in the district who were treated to a tour of the village in which they’ll soon teach.
The teachers were shown around town by Chris Golden, long-time Greenport resident, high school history teacher and the district’s new athletic director. The bus, which has operated as the district’s Book Mobile this summer, drove through residential neighborhoods, down Front Street and past numerous village staples, including Mitchell’s Park, the Townsend Manor Inn and Eastern Long Island Hospital.
“As you might know Greenport is a very small, tight knit community,” Mr. Golden said. “The school is the hub and kind of the center … Many of our residents are coming to the school and they use the facilities. On any given day you might see soccer games, pick up games. That’s the uniqueness of Greenport.”
The tour was designed as part of their orientation to introduce the new staff members to the area they’ll be spending the majority of their week starting next Wednesday when school begins.
While on the last stop of the tour, Front Street, Mr. Golden pulled two high school students who were working at local restaurants — his daughter Jillian Golden and Jules Atkins — to say hello to their new teachers.
“A lot of our kids are invested in the community, they work,” he said. “Those are the kids. The more you get to know those kids, the more you get to share, the better the connection. It makes for a great experience.”
The amount of teachers hired — which is substantially higher than in past years — was made possible by the nearly $13.7 million voter-approved school year budget. The budget, which pierced the tax cap with an 8.52 percent increase in the district’s tax collections, called for reinstating numerous teaching positions.
The budget included converting the librarian and psychologist positions from part-time to full-time, adding full-time teachers in reading, special education, secondary English and English as a Second Language (ESL), as well as an ESL assistant teacher.
The district was also looking to create a new position: a part-time science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teacher for grades K-8.
Top Photo: Greenport’s new hires pose with superintendent David Gamberg (middle), elementary principal Joseph Tsaveras (third from left) and athletic director Chris Golden (second from left), who narrated, before their bus tour of the village Wednesday. (Credit: Nicole Smith)