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Locust Valley superintendent out on paid leave announces her retirement

Anna F. Hunderfund, superintendent of the Locust Valley

Anna F. Hunderfund, superintendent of the Locust Valley Central School District, was placed on paid administrative leave in January. Board members did not give a reason. Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

Anna F. Hunderfund, one of the highest-paid educators in the state who was placed on paid leave earlier this year by the Locust Valley Board of Education, has announced her retirement, according to a notice posted on the district's website.

Hunderfund, who made more than $385,000 in total compensation annually, according to state data, has been superintendent at Locust Valley since 2008. Her retirement is effective at the end of the school year, according to the district.

"The Locust Valley Board of Education would like to express its sincere gratitude to Dr. Hunderfund for her many years of service to the District. Her hard work and dedication to the success of all children have helped to make Locust Valley an exemplary district of which we are very proud," read the notice posted on the district's website.

Hunderfund could not be immediately reached for comment Tuesday. A call placed to district officials was not immediately returned. The board president also could not be immediately reached.

Hunderfund was placed on administrative leave in January. Board members did not give a reason. The vote was unanimous, with one trustee absent.

At that time, the board also unanimously appointed retired Hicksville schools Superintendent Carl Bonuso to serve as acting superintendent of the more than 2,000-student district. According to documents obtained by Newsday through a Freedom of Information Law request, Bonuso was paid $1,000 a day.

In August, according to the district's website, Bonuso, who was committed to a short-term contract, stepped down. The board then named another acting superintendent, Thomas Dolan, former interim president of Nassau Community College and former superintendent in Great Neck. Dolan could not be reached for comment Tuesday. The announcement said he likely would remain acting superintendent throughout this school year. His compensation was not available Tuesday.

Hunderfund's contract with the district, initially signed in July 2016, was amended March 22, 2018, according to information obtained by Newsday through a FOIL. The paperwork noted that Hunderfund's initial contract, dated July 16, 2016, and covering her employment until June 30, 2021, was extended to end June 30, 2022.

In addition, that agreement noted that Hunderfund should receive a merit award of $12,500 in her annual base salary.

The document also said the board "shall, at least six months prior to the expiration of this Agreement, serve written notice of its intention to renew or not renew the appointment of the superintendent so that she may have ample opportunity to seek other employment."

And, the superintendent "shall give the Board at least six months notice of her intent to terminate this Agreement at any time during its term, prior to expiration."

In January, data reported to the New York State Teachers Retirement System for the 2017-18 school year and previously obtained by Newsday under a FOIL request showed Hunderfund's annual compensation at $385,297.

In the announcement posted on the district's website, the board of education said that under Hunderfund's "leadership, Locust Valley Central School District schools have been recognized as being among the best on Long Island, in New York State and in the country."

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