David Gamberg, the superintendent of both the Greenport and Southold school districts, has announced his retirement.
The Cutchogue resident, who has spent 34 years in education, said he would retire in July at a Greenport school board meeting Tuesday evening.
“I feel like it’s time,” he said in a telephone interview Wednesday. “This is going to be a different, new chapter.”
Mr. Gamberg, 57, who has worked as the superintendent of Southold schools for 12 years and Greenport for six, submitted a retirement letter to Southold Board of Education members Friday.
The superintendent said he will remain on the North Fork and expects to write, volunteer in the community and stay involved in education. How he will stay immersed, he said, is to be determined.
He said the people in both districts have given a lot for him to reflect on with fondness.
“Which includes all the staff, students and families that I have had such good fortune to work alongside,” he said.
Mr. Gamberg said he hopes his legacy will be in constructing a positive learning environment for students.
“You make the learning environment positive and it transfers,” he said. “It may not be seen right away, it may not reveal itself on a test score — but I think, ultimately, you create a healthy and safe environment.”
Mr. Gamberg said he was in a “unique situation” which allowed him to take on the current arrangement as joint superintendent.
He added that he will not play an active role in finding his replacement, as it involves learning communities, stakeholders, families, teachers and students.
He said he would prefer not to speculate about the selection process for his replacement, but said both districts are “well aware of all the variables and they’re working to figure things out to get the process going in a timely fashion.”
The vacancy will go into effect in both districts July 1.
The superintendent, who occasionally blogs on School Leadership 2.0, also recently published an opinion piece in the New York State School Boards Association’s newsletter, which discussed the future of education.
“It describes, in some way, how we need to travel, graduation requirements, how we need to look at our high school graduates through a different lens,” he said.
Mr. Gamberg is expected to speak about his retirement at the Wednesday, Jan. 22, Southold Board of Education meeting at 7:30 p.m.