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Apr 16, 2019 2:47 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Remsenburg-Speonk School District Superintendent To Head Center Moriches Schools Next Year

Dr. Ronald Masera will be leaving the Remsenburg-Speonk School District in July, after eight years. ANISAH ABDULLAH
Apr 16, 2019 4:29 PM

Dr. Ronald Masera will be resigning from his dual position as superintendent of the Remsenburg-Speonk School District and principal of its only school at the end of this school year to replace Russell Stewart, the retiring superintendent of the Center Moriches School District.

The Remsenburg-Speonk Board of Education, as well as the Center Moriches School District, made the announcement to their respective communities on Friday, the day Dr. Masera signed a contract with Center Moriches to assume the role in July.

“I just want to thank the Remsenburg-Speonk community, in particular the teachers, staff, Board of Education and the entire community, because the eight years here have been some of the most professionally and personally rewarding of my entire career,” Dr. Masera said.

Remsenburg-Speonk board members will soon begin their search for a new superintendent and principal. In their letter to the community, they announced a special board meeting on Monday, April 29, at 7 p.m., in which they will devise a plan for seeking candidates.

Board President Deirdre DeVita said that the board wants to get feedback from the community at the special meeting on who they would like to see as the next superintendent, in addition to whether they think the district should keep the superintendent and principal roles as one position or split them in two.

“Ron has been a big asset to the district,” Ms. DeVita said. “I’ve worked closely with him for almost all of his tenure. I was new to the board just a couple of months after he started as superintendent, so I’ve witnessed a lot of what’s happened over his time here, and I think he really brought a lot to our district.”

Center Moriches had been conducting a national search for a new superintendent to replace Mr. Stewart, who is retiring at the end of this school year. The board hired District Wise Search Consultants to find a suitable replacement after Mr. Stewart announced his retirement in November.

“We interviewed many candidates and went through a very robust process and we determined that Ron was a great fit for our district given his experience in a variety of different capacities,” Center Moriches Board President Joshua Foster said. “The board is extremely excited to have Ron lead our district.”

Mr. Foster said that the board will hold a special meeting on Tuesday evening, April 16, to vote on appointing Dr. Masera to the position, although Mr. Foster said that all members are already in favor of appointing him.

“I’m really encouraged, and I’m really grateful to the Center Moriches Board of Education for placing their trust in me to be their next superintendent,” Dr. Masera said.

Since beginning his role at Remsenburg-Speonk in December 2010, Dr. Masera said that he and the board have been able to achieve many goals in the district. Their most recent accomplishment was the approval of the $2.9 million capital project to make major improvements to the elementary school, which taxpayers approved funding for in October.

“Once those were achieved, I saw this as an opportunity to move to a K-12 district, but serve in another community that I feel very connected to,” Dr. Masera said, calling his move a “difficult decision.” He has lived in Eastport for over 20 years, where he raised a family of four daughters with his wife, Susan Beth Masera.

Come July, Dr. Masera will transfer from a relatively small school district, consisting of one elementary school with 140 students, to a school district with an elementary school, middle school and high school, totaling 1,569 students, according to data from the New York State Education Department.

He has never headed a K-12 district before, but said he is ready for the challenge. He has over 25 years of experience in education and has worked in Long Island school districts of varying sizes, he said. Prior to heading the Remsenburg-Speonk district, he was the principal of the Westhampton Beach Elementary School for five years. In addition to his current leadership role, he is presently the vice president of the Suffolk County School Superintendents Association.

Dr. Masera said he is excited about the current direction of Center Moriches, noting that the district’s middle and high schools are in the process of implementing International Baccalaureate programs, which aim to boost intercultural respect and understanding among students through programs focused on personal and academic growth.

One of his goals will be to push forward with the International Baccalaureate implementation, while another will be to encourage an educational environment that balances academic rigor with social-emotional learning, something he said he is very passionate about.

“I look forward to doing some real good work there to support children holistically in their education,” he said.

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