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Garden City superintendent to retire, take NYIT post, district says

Robert Feirsen, superintendent of the Garden City schools,

Robert Feirsen, superintendent of the Garden City schools, announced his retirement at an April 4, 2017, board meeting, the district said. Feirsen will be taking a position at New York Institute of Technology. Credit: Garden City School District

Garden City schools Superintendent Robert Feirsen, who ranks among Long Island’s highest-paid public school administrators, has announced his retirement to take a leadership position at New York Institute of Technology, officials confirmed Thursday.

In separate actions, two other school districts — Manhasset in Nassau County and the Bayport-Blue Point in Suffolk — announced that new superintendents will take over after the end of this school year.

Bayport-Blue Point Superintendent Vincent Butera will become the schools chief in Manhasset starting July 10. Timothy Hearney, the Suffolk system’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, will replace Butera as superintendent, effective on that date.

Feirsen, 65, will remain Garden City superintendent until July 31, when an interim superintendent will be appointed until a permanent replacement is hired, school officials said this week. His contract runs until 2020.

An NYIT spokesman said he was hired as a tenure-track faculty member in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Education and as director of its School Leadership program. He was chosen by a search committee that took about six months.

Feirsen also will continue to hold a leadership role with The Long Island Regional Advisory Council on Higher Education, a consortium of 15 colleges and universities that partners with school superintendents.

He has served the district for 12 years and worked in public education since 1978. Earlier, he worked as an administrator in the Manhasset school district.

“The board is deeply grateful for Dr. Feirsen’s extraordinary leadership and dedicated service to our community, staff, parents, and students,” board president Angela Heineman said in a statement.

Feirsen’s public school salary for 2015-16 was $309,131.44, according to data reported to the New York State Teachers Retirement System that Newsday obtained under the state’s Freedom of Information Act.

The word of his departure from Garden City follows that of several other superintendents who recently announced retirements. They include former Westbury Superintendent Mary Lagnado, who resigned last month, and longtime Manhasset Superintendent Charles Cardillo, who retires at the end of the school year.

Manhasset district officials announced Butera’s appointment last month. His salary and contract terms were unavailable Thursday. Butera has served as the Bayport-Blue Point’s schools chief since 2012 at a salary of $236,661.55 in the 2015-16 school year, according to the data obtained by Newsday.

“Manhasset is one of the finest public schools in the nation, and I am privileged to be given the opportunity to serve,” Butera said in a statement.

In Bayport-Blue Point, Hearney, 48, has been a principal of Bayport-Blue Point High School and a central office administrator. His contract is for five years at $229,000 per year.

In a statement, he praised the school district’s staff.

“As a team, we will continue to provide our students with the necessary tools, opportunities and support to be successful,” Hearney said.

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