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Man runs Valley Stream school district, marathons
Bill Heidenreich, 40, of Merrick, was appointed superintendent of Valley Stream Central School District in July 2011 after serving as assistant superintendent for personnel and administration for seven years.
Tell me a little about your home life and what you do outside of the office.
I’ve been married 14 years to my wife, Susan, and we have two daughters [Kate, 11, and Amy, 8 ] who keep us busy. I run in marathons and have medals on the wall of my office over there. Since my wife is a fashion designer in the city, we have to live no more than one hour from the city.
What’s your background in?
I went to Brown University for undergrad and got my doctorate at Columbia University.
I was a social studies teacher at John F. Kennedy Middle School from 1994 to 1999, director and instructor of technology at Bellmore-Merrick Central High School DIstrict from 1999 to 2004 and then came to Valley Stream Central High School District.
Tell me about the school system.
We have four schools: Valley Stream Memorial Junior High School, which serves grades 7 to 9; Valley Stream Central High School, which serves 10th to 12th, and North High School and South High School, which both serve 7th through 12th.
What are you most proud of within your district?
Ninety-five percent of our students graduate with a Regents diploma. Last year, we had students accepted to Columbia University and Dartmouth College [in Hanover, N.H.]. We have 266 advanced-placement students.
What does the district have to offer?
We have 4,700 students in the district. In addition to a strong academic program, there are so many activities and sports that these kids can get involved in.
Although you don’t live here, what do you find most attractive about Valley Stream?
When people are looking for homes, they look for a school district with a high graduation rate. We have that. Not only is there that academic piece, but there’s a tremendous amount of opportunities for the kids at the school paper, athletics, fencing, rifle, gymnastics and other clubs.
In your opinion, what’s most outstanding about the community?
I think it’s a combination of things. In Valley Stream, you have the best of both worlds. You can get to the beaches in 15 to 20 minutes and into the city in 30 minutes or so. Geographically, you get the best of both worlds.