Acting Amityville schools chief elevated to permanent status

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The Amityville Board of Education has appointed acting superintendent Mary T. Kelly to the post of superintendent, effective July 1.

Kelly, 48, of Kings Park, has been the district's top administrator since superintendent John R. Williams died in February.

Before coming to Amityville in 2008 as an assistant superintendent, she worked as director of Assessments, Research and Instructional Support in Kings Park. She also worked there as a high school assistant principal and social studies teacher.

"Dr. Kelly has a vast knowledge of curriculum and how data can drive student achievement," board president Lisa Johnson said in a statement after the board's vote last Wednesday. "Additionally, she knows our district, staff and children very well."

Kelly said in a statement released by the district that she is "honored and humbled" by the appointment. "I look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the Board of Education, the staff, families, and the community to provide our children with the very best learning environment and every opportunity for success."

The appointment drew praise from Robert Claps, president of Amityville Teachers Association, the union that represents district teachers, who said Kelly was "an excellent choice" with a record of accomplishment.

Kelly will face pressure to raise student test scores and will be involved in negotiations for a new teachers' contract and monitor teacher performance reviews, he said.

Kelly received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Hofstra University and her doctorate in education from Dowling College. As superintendent, she will earn $190,000 in the 2014-15 school year.

The district, which is proposing an $82.9 million budget, has 2,790 students and a staff of 534. It draws students from Amityville Village, North Amityville and East Massapequa.

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In the 2011-12 school year, almost two-thirds of students received free or reduced-price lunches, an indicator of poverty, and 14 percent of students were judged to have limited English proficiency.

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