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Nassau BOCES' Thomas Rogers is new Syosset school superintendent

Thomas L. Rogers, the district superintendent of Nassau

Thomas L. Rogers, the district superintendent of Nassau BOCES seen in this undated photo, will take over July 1 as superintendent of the Syosset school district. Credit: Handout

Thomas L. Rogers, the district superintendent of Nassau BOCES, will take over July 1 as superintendent of the Syosset school district, the 6,500-student system headed for more than two decades by the now-retired Carole Hankin.

Rogers, 47, has been leader of the Nassau Board of Cooperative Educational Services since January 2010. He replaces interim Superintendent Ronald L. Friedman, the former Great Neck schools superintendent named by the school board after Hankin announced her retirement last July.

"Syosset is a district with an extraordinary history of accomplishments and tremendous potential for the future," Rogers said Friday. "I am looking forward to working with such a dedicated Board of Education and such a supportive community."

Rogers will earn $279,000 a year, school officials said. In his current job, he earned $166,000 in 2012-13, he confirmed.

Hankin, 71, officially remained in the post until Oct. 31. She led the district for 23 years and was credited for her strong leadership and the district's academic record but criticized by some for her high compensation and close-to-the-vest management style.

When she left, she was the second-highest-paid superintendent in the state, receiving a total of $506,000, including $405,244 in salary. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo -- without naming Hankin directly -- singled out her pay for criticism, citing it in 2011 as wasteful spending on administration.

The Syosset Board of Education will act on Rogers' appointment Monday at its regularly scheduled meeting, held at South Woods Middle School.

"Though the candidate pool was extremely impressive, we believe that Dr. Rogers' creativity, intelligence and wealth of experience will prove to be an incredible resource," school board president Michael Cohen said.

Rogers is co-chairman of the College Presidents'-Superintendents' Partnership and serves on the executive committee of the Long Island Arts Alliance.

Before becoming Nassau BOCES superintendent, Rogers was executive director of the New York State Council of School Superintendents in Albany for six years, and before that was a program associate in the state Senate's Majority Program Office.

Rogers, of Huntington, holds doctoral and master's degrees in educational leadership from Columbia University's Teachers College and a bachelor of science in biochemistry from the University at Buffalo.

Syosset High School has been named as a gold medal school by U.S. News & World Report, and was ranked 32nd in the state and 194th nationwide in the organization's latest list of America's best high schools. The Washington Post, in its latest high-school rankings, placed it at 184th nationwide.

When Rogers took the helm at Nassau BOCES, the district had been without a permanent leader since James Mapes left in 2008 to be superintendent of Baldwin schools. Mapes retired from that district a year ago. The BOCES district provides arts and alternative schools, career training for high school students and adults, technology education and teacher training. The district also provides shared services in areas such as mandated building condition surveys, telecommunications services and cooperative energy purchasing to help local districts rein in costs.

New York State has a salary cap of $166,762 for BOCES district superintendents.

The New York State School Boards Association has lobbied unsuccessfully to have the cap repealed, saying that would widen the pool of candidates for a superintendent's position.

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