In their search for the next superintendent, the Mattituck-Cutchogue Board of Education didn’t have to look very far.
Shawn Petretti, the principal at Mattituck Junior-Senior High School, will be formally appointed as superintendent at a meeting June 10, board of education president Barbara Wheaton announced Thursday.
“The board of education is confident of his proven leadership, his commitment to the community, educational connections and his overall desire to do what is best for all students, faculty, parents and community,” Ms. Wheaton said. “This appointment is the right decision for the future success of our school district.”
Mr. Petretti has worked for the district for the last 24 years, first as a teacher’s assistant then a social studies teacher, high school dean and assistant principal. He has served as the high school principal for 16 years.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Potsdam in history and secondary education and a master’s degree from LIU in school administration and supervision.
“Since day one in the Mattituck-Cutchogue School District, I have been inspired by the students, families, this community, and all of the faculty and staff that I have worked with,” Mr. Petretti said. “This is truly a special place and I consider it a privilege to continue to work with all stakeholders. I look forward to the coming years as we advance this already successful school district to ensure that it is a place where our educators encourage and support all of our students to reach their highest potential.”
In an interview Monday, Mr. Petretti said from the moment he stepped into the district as a teacher’s assistant he knew this was where he wanted to be.
“I love my job as the high school principal – the teachers, the kids, their families,” he said. “I wanted to expand my role here, because this is where I want to be. When I came here I wanted to be a high school history teacher and a wrestling coach. This is another wonderful opportunity to be in a district I love.”
According to a press release issued by the district Thursday, the board conducted a “thorough analysis of the district’s past achievements and future goals,” and unanimously decided to focus their search on highly qualified candidates already working in the district.
Mr. Petretti’s promotion coincides with current superintendent Jill Gierasch’s resignation, which goes into effect at the end of the school year. She announced her decision in March after she was appointed as Cold Spring Harbor’s next superintendent and said she feels “heartfelt gratitude” for the opportunity in Mattituck.
Contract information for Mr. Petretti wasn’t immediately available and he is expected to begin in the role July 1.
To ensure a smooth transition for students and staff, the board has also opted to appoint current high school assistant principal David Smith as principal, effective July 1, at the June 10 board meeting.
Mr. Smith began his career in Mattituck as a band teacher and has also served as chair of the music department. He has held the assistant principal role for the last 15 years.
Mr. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in music from SUNY Fredonia and a master’s in school administration and supervision from Stony Brook University.
“It is hard to believe that I’ve spent 26 years in Mattituck. The school has become not only a sense of pride, it has become a large part of who I am,” Mr. Smith said, adding that the opportunity to serve as building principal is a dream come true.
Speaking about the new appointments, Ms. Wheaton said the future is “in good hands.”