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Port Jefferson superintendent to take over Elwood district

Kenneth Bossert at an Elwood school board meeting

Kenneth Bossert at an Elwood school board meeting immediately following a unanimous vote approving him as the district's new superintendent on Thursday, March 31, 2016. Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

Elwood school board members voted 5-0 Thursday to select Port Jefferson’s superintendent to take over district leadership July 1, replacing retiring superintendent Peter Scordo.

Kenneth Bossert, who will have a five-year contract, is joining Elwood after five years as superintendent of the Port Jefferson school district. There, he kept budgets within the tax cap each year, officials said.

“As superintendent, I’m one who likes to spend time in the classroom. I’m one who likes to work directly with the teachers,” said Bossert, 43. “I’m not sure that superintendents are afforded that opportunity in much larger districts. In a district of this size I would hope to be a very visible presence in all of the classrooms.”

Bossert said he will publish a 100-day plan that he submitted to the board during the interview process, so the community can see what the beginning of his tenure will look like.

Board President Andrew L. Kaplan called Bossert “the best person possible” for the post.

Scordo, who helped Elwood navigate challenging financial times, announced in April 2015 that he would leave his role at the end of the school year. Elwood has often struggled to raise enough tax revenue due to its makeup of largely single-family-homes. The community has a population of about 11,000.

District officials selected Bossert after receiving community input through surveys seeking residents’ and parents’ priorities for their next leader. During the search, they met with many community organizations, including civic groups, PTAs, local nonprofits and the public library, among others.

At Port Jefferson, Bossert helped expand Advanced Placement offerings at the high school, and incorporated courses that allowed students to earn college credits, according to the Elwood district.

Bossert also helped lead Port Jefferson’s collaboration with Stony Brook University for STEM-driven curriculum and professional development, among other initiatives.

Before his time at Port Jefferson, Bossert worked in the Three Village school district as assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, after holding several other roles within that district.

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