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Roslyn superintendent to depart at end of school year for Connecticut job

Dan Brenner, superintendent of Roslyn public schools, in

Dan Brenner, superintendent of Roslyn public schools, in an undated photo. Brenner has announced his retirement as he intends to take the top position with a Connecticut school district.

Roslyn schools Superintendent Dan Brenner will leave the district at the end of the academic year as he moves to the top position with the Darien, Connecticut, system, Roslyn officials announced Friday.

Brenner, 55, has been superintendent since 2009 and before that was the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction since 2005. He will leave the district on July 1.

Allison Brown, the current assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, is expected to be named deputy superintendent with Brenner's departure and to become the district's chief on July 1, 2016.

"I know what a special opportunity this is . . . and I am ready for the challenge," said Brown, 40, of Merrick, who came to Roslyn in 2008 as East Hills Elementary School principal. She previously worked in the Oyster Bay-East Norwich district.

To help with the change in leadership, the district has hired Gerry Dempsey, who was interim superintendent from 2006-07, to be interim superintendent during the 2015-16 school year.

Roslyn officials said Brenner informed them that he is the sole candidate for the job in Darien. The Roslyn board is expected to accept his resignation on Feb. 5.

"Dan has been a wonderful leader," said Meryl Ben-Levy, president of the board of education. "When he was elevated from curriculum and instruction to the superintendency, it was like the world shifted back onto its axis."

Brenner was named superintendent after John A. Richman left with two years remaining on his contract. Richman had been hired as permanent schools chief in 2007 after an embezzlement scandal rocked the district and forced then-superintendent Frank Tassone to resign in 2004.

Tassone was released from prison in 2010, more than eight months short of his minimum sentence of 4 to 12 years.

"I came in at a time that was tumultuous, and there was a breach of trust with the community," Brenner said in an interview Friday. "I am leaving at a time -- and am very proud of the fact -- that our community acts as one. That wasn't by accident. That was by design . . . we re-established open communication that has gone a long way to putting the shine back on Roslyn, as it should be."

The award-winning district in Nassau County has four 2015 Intel Science Talent Search semifinalists at Roslyn High School -- along with the Great Neck schools, the most of any Long Island district this year. The high school had a 93 percent graduation rate in 2014, according to the state Department of Education.

The district has made significant advances in technology and facility improvements and has instituted several notable programs, including an affiliation with Teachers College at Columbia University, Brenner noted.

According to data from the state Education Department, the budgeted total compensation for the 2013-14 school year for Roslyn's top administrator was $365,837. For the assistant superintendent for instruction, it was $255,618.

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