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Syosset School District Superintendent Retires

After 23 years, Board of Education President Michael Cohen announced the retirement of Superintendent of Syosset Schools Carole Hankin, at a school board meeting last Tuesday.  Effective October 31, 2013, her contract was due to expire in 2017.

Hankin did not attend the meeting, and she notified the board of her decision by sending them a confidential letter. The news took the school board and residents attending on Tuesday by surprise - her resignation was unanimously accepted.

“She (Hankin) worked to the best of her ability to make school a welcoming, nurturing and comfortable place for every child - regardless of their abilities,” Cohen said at the meeting.

Having led Syosset since 1990, Hankin has drew both positive and negative attention from the district’s community - most notably by way of NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo, who in 2011 cited her $506,322 in total compensation salary as ‘wasteful spending.’

The school board released an official statement the following day on Wednesday, where it was stated on behalf of the entire board:

The nine trustees of the Board of Education assure you that both the Board and the School District are as outstanding as they have ever been. The Board recognizes the enormity of the responsibility that accompanies the selection of a successor to Dr. Hankin. As a Board, we will proceed thoughtfully and diligently while keeping the needs of all of our students and families first and foremost in our minds. The excellence in education that has become the trademark of the Syosset School District will continue unabated.”

According to the school board, Hankin plans to pursue her passion for public speaking on education in her retirement, and the process for replacing Hankin has not begun yet.  Hankin also plans to give lectures at national universities, and write a book for parents on the ‘inside story of suburban public schools,’ with an emphasis on ‘information testing, helping parents navigate their child’s education, working with administrators and teachers, and the most interesting aspects of her career.’

Hankin has a doctorate and two masters degrees from Colombia University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Sarah Lawrence College.  She also received a certificate from Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and attended various seminars at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration and Yale University Graduate School of Management.  

In other news, newly elected Board members Susan Parker and Tracy Frankel sat in on their first school board meeting on Tuesday evening, effectively taking their seats as trustees.  Newly elected Robert Gershon took his seat at the prior school board meeting, the Syosset Board of Education now has all seats filled for the 2013-14 school year.