Levi McIntyre, a retired administrator who had worked for years in the Longwood school district, has been named superintendent of the Brentwood schools -- the Island's largest district and one of its poorest.
McIntyre, 67, a longtime resident of the Brentwood district, starts as the new schools chief July 1. He succeeds Superintendent Joseph Bond, whose contract expires in June. The board voted 4-2, with one abstention, to approve McIntyre's three-year contract at $206,000 annually at a special meeting Monday night.
Board of Education president Helen Moss said McIntyre "is committed to the concept that all students can learn and that there should be no barriers that hinder their academic progress."
"As an instructional leader, he established high expectations for all students and encouraged staff and students to believe in this philosophy and to be committed to the mission in work and performance, " Moss said.
"I felt like I can make a substantial impact on improving the academics in the district," McIntyre said Tuesday. "The schools in terms of academic performance need help. I am able to work with the staff and work with the community to improve overall academic standards in the district."
Brentwood had a K-12 enrollment of 17,554 students in 2013-14, with 85 percent considered economically disadvantaged, according to the New York State Department of Education report card. In 2014, 13 percent of all students in grades 3-8 scored proficient or above in English Language Arts and 18 percent in math.
McIntyre received his bachelor's and master's from Indiana University and a doctorate from the University of South Florida. He was born and grew up in Jamaica, where his father worked in a sugar-cane factory. He said he hopes he can serve as an inspiration for Brentwood students.
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"I'd like them to hear this message, that despite your economic situation, if you work hard and set your expectations high, you can achieve, and I am an example of that," he said.
McIntyre was principal of Longwood Junior High School in Middle Island in 1993 and retired from that role in 2014. Before that he was an assistant principal at Bellport High School.
In 2012, McIntyre was named Administrator of the Year by the Western Suffolk Counselors Association. He was credited with helping Longwood to achieve a designation as a Rising School to Watch by the New York State Middle School Association. He is also a member of Phi Delta Kappa and the First United Methodist Church in Central Islip, where he is the church organist.
While at Longwood, McIntyre filed a federal lawsuit against the district in 2007 alleging discrimination on the basis of race, age or sex. The District Court ruled against him and a federal appeals court upheld that ruling in 2010.