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Dec 8, 2017 12:16 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Sag Harbor School Board Welcomes New Business Administrator

Dr. Philip Kenter, left, with Sag Harbor School Superintendent Katy Graves at the Sag Harbor School Board meeting on Monday. JON WINKLER
Dec 12, 2017 12:40 PM

The Sag Harbor School District did not have to search far to find its next business administrator.

Dr. Philip Kenter, who has served as the business official for the nearby Tuckahoe School District for the past four years, was officially appointed to his new post on Monday night—though he is not scheduled to begin his new job until January 16, 2018.

Dr. Kenter signed a four-year contract with Sag Harbor and will earn $175,000 annually—or almost $43,000 more a year than he now makes with the Tuckahoe School District, according to school officials. He will replace Jennifer Buscemi, who announced earlier this fall that she has accepted a new position with another district.

Though her last official day is December 31, Ms. Buscemi will continue to be paid $770 a day by the Sag Harbor School District so she can help guide Dr. Kenter in his new position. She will collect her stipend until February 9, 2018.

“I’ve always wanted to work here,” Dr. Kenter said after Monday night’s meeting, during which he was appointed. “I grew up on the East End, I went to Southampton College and I’ve always worked out here, so Sag Harbor was my dream district.”

On Thursday, December 7, Sag Harbor Schools Superintendent Katy Graves said that Ms. Buscemi has joined the staff of the Merrick School District as its new assistant superintendent for business. Ms. Graves noted that Ms. Buscemi, who makes $173,000 annually with her district, will earn more than $185,000 in her new position and also enjoy a lighter workload, as Merrick tends to elementary school children.

As for Dr. Kenter, he will continue to commute from his home in Riverhead when he starts his new position in Sag Harbor next month. Prior to joining the Tuckahoe School District, he worked for the Kings Park School District for three and a half years, the Miller Place School District for two years and, prior to that, the Bridgehampton School District for six months in 2008.

Before entering public education, Dr. Kenter worked in the private sector for Relay Communications for 30 years. He earned a doctorate and MBA at Dowling College, a first master’s degree at C.W. Post and a Bachelor of Science degree at Southampton College. His last day at Tuckahoe will be on January 15.

Dr. Kenter noted that Ms. Graves reached out to him about the job opportunity and though he said he’s done plenty of research on Sag Harbor’s pending projects, he knows he cannot simply jump into the position.

“Katy talked with me in quite a bit of detail about the Stella Maris project,” he said, referring to Sag Harbor’s ongoing renovation of the former Catholic school building. “When a new business official comes to a school district, it takes time to acclimate. Each school has its own climate and culture, so I need to sit back and see how they do things here.”

Dr. Kenter was also a keen observer of the School Board’s interactions on Monday night.

“It’s very lively and very interactive. I really enjoyed it,” he said. “It’s a great district and they’ve got so many neat things going on here. I think it’s going to be a wonderful adventure.”

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Rank Amateur.
By even flow (590), East Hampton on Dec 8, 17 1:33 PM
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