Kevin Coster, an experienced administrator in the William Floyd school district, is expected to be named its new superintendent Tuesday at a special school board meeting.
Coster, if approved by the board, will replace longtime schools chief Paul Casciano, 62, who announced last fall that he will retire at the end of the school year after working more than 40 years in the district.
"The board of education conducted an extensive search and interviewed a number of highly qualified candidates for the position, and we believe that Mr. Coster is the perfect choice to continue William Floyd on its upward trajectory," said Robert Vecchio, president of the school board.
Coster, 41, the district's assistant superintendent for elementary instruction and administration, would be paid $215,000 annually as the schools chief. He is expected to be signed to a five-year contract and would officially take the office on July 1.
"The district itself has been very, very good to me over the last 12 years," Coster said. "I am hoping that I can return that investment in the school and the community."
As superintendent, he would oversee one of Long Island's largest systems, spanning the South Shore communities of Mastic, Mastic Beach, Moriches and Shirley. The district has about 9,100 students in prekindergarten through 12th grade and more than 1,200 employees in five elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school.
Among his top goals, Coster said, is continued improvement in the graduation rate, which was 79 percent in June -- a nearly 20 percentage-point increase since Casciano became the district's leader in October 2006.
The district will continue its commitment to career and technical education at the high school, he said, and is looking closely at literacy instruction at the elementary and middle schools.
Coster has served in his current role since July 2007. Before that, he was an administrator at William Floyd's John S. Hobart Elementary School from 2003 to 2007, first as assistant principal and then as principal.
He came to the district after teaching elementary school in the Longwood district from 1998 to 2003.
Coster received his bachelor of arts degree in elementary education from St. Joseph's College in Patchogue. He earned a master of arts with a specialization in math, science and technology from Hofstra University, and his New York State district administrator professional license in educational administration through Stony Brook University.
Coster grew up as one of five children in a two-teacher family. His parents' love for education inspired him and two of his siblings to become educators, he said.
His wife, Tara, is a teacher in the Longwood school district. The couple lives in Shoreham with their three children.