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East Williston Superintendent’s Resignation Effective July 31

Lorna Lewis tapped to head POB schools

Usually, when one door closes, another opens. For Dr. Lorna Lewis, it’s walking out of one school district and into another one…a much bigger one.

Lewis was appointed superintendent of the Plainview-Old Bethpage (POB) School District on April 2. The former East Williston (EW) School District helmsman will take over the 4,900-student POB district in August. East Williston enrolls approximately 1,800 students.

Her resignation will take effect July 31. She will succeed retiring POB superintendent Gerard Dempsey.

Lewis served five years as district superintendent in the East Williston where Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report recently ranked The Wheatley School of EW among the nation’s 100 top academic schools. POB High School was ranked 474th in the survey.

POB officials are steadfast that Lewis’ skills honed over the years will translate well to her new district. Her contract with POB runs until 2017.

“The board is confident that Dr. Lewis is the right person to lead us into the future and to take our district to the next level of achievement,” said Gary Bettan, president of the POB board of education. “We are very excited and thank the community for their support in making this happen. The district is going to be in great hands for the next five years, and possibly more.”

A former math and AP physics teacher, Lewis is co-chairwoman of a curriculum committee for the New York State Council of School Superintendents. She started her teaching career at The Collegiate School, where some of her accolades include sponsoring a finalist in the Westinghouse competition.

“I have been privileged to be selected to lead another premier district on Long Island and join a school community where educational traditions are steeped in excellence,” Lewis said. “I am looking forward to working with the board of education, staff and community as we take the Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District into the next era of outstanding academic accomplishments.”

Lewis served as science chairman in the Rockville Centre School District before she became science director in the Uniondale School District and deputy superintendent in Three Village School District. She served as an adjunct professor at Hofstra University and taught graduate studies classes in science methods.

“Student achievement [at East Williston] is at an all-time high as together we have opened greater opportunities for students to challenge themselves at higher levels,” Lewis said. “Willets Road is a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. This year, we boast of 120 AP Scholars and our college acceptances have been spectacular.”

Lewis received her Bachelor of Science in physics from Fordham University and went on to earn three master’s degrees, before completing her doctorate in science education from Teachers College, Columbia University, according to school district officials.

“Over these years, we have made great strides in all arenas of the district as we courageously responded to areas of concern and worked to preserve the unique qualities of the district,” said Lewis. “I am proud of the body of work we accomplished together and grateful for the support the board and community have given me during this time.”

Lewis said she did not want to detract from her work that still needs to be completed in East Williston prior to her resignation.

“There is still a lot to be done before my departure from the [East Williston], including making sure that the district continues on its course of excellence and creating a smooth transition for my successor,” Lewis stated. “Be assured that I am committed to making this happen.”