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Jul 17, 2017 3:14 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Bridgehampton School Board Eyes New Superintendent, Pending State Approval

Left to right: Board of Education President Ronald White with Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Facilities Robert Hauser. JEN NEWMAN
Jul 19, 2017 10:02 AM

The Bridgehampton School Board is ready to select a new superintendent but needs permission from the state before making its nomination official.

Robert Hauser, the district’s current assistant superintendent of finance and facilities, was named on Tuesday morning as the board’s pick to replace current Superintendent Dr. Lois Favre, who serves as both superintendent and principal. Dr. Favre previously announced plans to retire at the end of the calendar year.

But because Mr. Hauser is not certified by the state for the superintendent post, the State Department of Education must provide special permission before he officially can be appointed.

At the same time, School Board President Ronald White announced that the board intends to split Dr. Favre’s duties into two positions, with plans to appoint Michael Miller, the school’s physical health, education and athletic director, as the new school principal at a later date. Though it has not yet said when it would appoint Mr. Miller to his new role, the board recently approved the hiring of Michael DeRosa as the school’s new athletic director.

In an email on Tuesday, Dr. Favre declined to disclose the future salaries for Mr. Hauser and Mr. Miller, who will split her responsibilities. New York State Education Department figures show Dr. Favre received a salary of $236,793 with $55,185 in benefits for the 2016-17 school year. In his current post, Mr. Hauser received a salary of $136,937 with $49,870 in benefits in the same time frame.

Dr. Favre maintained that even though the district is creating two positions to replace her, the switch-up in administrators will not result in an increase in cost to the taxpayers—a condition required by the board—since Mr. Hauser’s previous responsibilities as assistant superintendent of finance and facilities will be absorbed by several current administrators.

“We are not adding any positions, simply shifting responsibilities,” she said in an email.

At a special meeting on Tuesday, board members approved a resolution that considers Mr. Hauser for the superintendent’s position. Dr. Favre explained that the board’s action does not mean that Mr. Hauser is now appointed to the position; rather, she said the resolution asks the State Education Department’s permission to appoint him.

State approval is still needed to appoint Mr. Hauser, Dr. Favre, explained, or whenever a board wants to hire a new superintendent who lacks school district leader certification but is still qualified for the position.

Dr. Favre said Mr. Hauser was selected “due to his exceptional service to the district over the past seven years, and his experience.”

Mr. White concurred, adding that Mr. Hauser was both qualified and exceptional. He defended the decision to hire Mr. Hauser despite his lack of certification, noting that hiring from within would be a positive move that reinforces to school staff the option of advancing within the district.

Dr. Favre, who replaced former Bridgehampton Superintendent Dr. Dianne Youngblood in 2010, announced her retirement in March. Since she is eligible for retirement, Dr. Favre said she is ready to spend some quality time with her family and travel.

“She always preached working as a team and being very transparent, educating and making sure everyone’s on the same page,” Mr. White said of Dr. Favre. “We’re very positive that it will all work out.”

Although a vote has yet to take place to appoint Mr. Miller, Dr. Favre said he has begun working “closely” with her, although she did not provide details of his current position with the school. Dr. Favre explained that Mr. Miller will likely be voted in first as assistant principal this fall, so he can continue to work with her until her departure. Then, she said, he would transition to principal on January 1.

The board is also looking to give Response to Intervention Director Aleta Parker the new position of assistant superintendent, focused on curriculum building.

The administrative changes come as the school prepares a $24.7 million building expansion project that includes a new gymnasium, locker rooms, fitness center, cafeteria, music suite and technology room. It will also include the partial reconstruction of the existing Bridgehampton School building to provide a new auditorium, library, media center, classrooms and other spaces. According to Mr. White, the school is pushing to begin construction in March 2018.

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Just what is the number of student's in the Bridgehampton School District ? This is unnecessary……………it does not need a Superintendent AND Principal ! !
By carsrus (54), Hampton Bays on Jul 19, 17 7:07 PM