Richard Loeschner — a longtime Brentwood administrator, high school principal and recent statewide “Principal of the Year” — was appointed superintendent of the Brentwood school district Thursday night.
The board of education approved a three-year contract for Loeschner, with five members voting yes and two abstaining, school officials confirmed. Contract terms were not available late Thursday.
Board president Elizabeth Mercado said Thursday night that Loeschner’s “commitments to Brentwood and its students throughout his 17-year tenure has been exemplary and indicative of his leadership.”
Last month, Brentwood Superintendent Levi McIntyre said he was stepping down as leader of the sprawling Suffolk County system. Brentwood and neighboring Central Islip have been rocked by violence that law enforcement has blamed on the MS-13 street gang.
Loeschner, principal of Brentwood High School’s Ross Center, takes the helm of Long Island’s largest district, with nearly 20,000 students. He has played a key role in the district’s response to the gang violence, reassuring students and staff and noting the importance of keeping students safe on campuses.
Loeschner could not be reached for comment Thursday.
In 2016, he took statewide “Principal of the Year” honors for the high school level from the School Administrators Association of New York State. The annual award is given to an administrator who has “set the pace, character, and quality of education for the students in his or her school.”
After being named top principal, he said, “It’s a special place because the kids are flat-out great. They have such appreciation for good educators and people who care about them. They are appreciative, kind, intelligent, insightful. They deeply love their schools and their community.”