Franklin Square schools Superintendent Patrick Manley, who is credited with bringing prekindergarten to the district and expanding after-school programs, has died.
Manley, who was 49, died Thursday. The cause of death is unknown.
Superintendents in surrounding school districts and Franklin Square school officials remembered Manley as a devoted family man and proactive educational leader.
“Mr. Manley worked each and every day to ensure that the children of Franklin Square, and the community at large, were the recipients of a first-class education,” school board president Stephen Toto said in a letter posted on the district's website Friday. "He touched many lives here, and he will be missed."
Manley joined the school district in 2005 as assistant superintendent for finance and management. He became superintendent five years later, replacing Tony Pecorale.
In addition to bringing prekindergarten to the district and expanding after-school programs, school officials said Manley made technology infrastructure improvements and expanded bus service to include students in fourth through sixth grades. A Garden City resident, Manley was active in the Garden City Community Recreation Board and coached youth baseball for 12 years.
Franklin Square's school district enrolls roughly 2,040 students and operates under a $38.7 million budget. The district is an elementary district, meaning it doesn't have middle or high schools. Graduates from John Street School, Polk Street School and Washington Street School feed into the Sewanhaka Central High School District.
"When I arrived in Nassau County eight years ago, Patrick was one of the first people to reach out to me and welcome me," said Ralph Ferrie, superintendent of the Sewanhaka district.
Ferrie said Manley was creative, "a professional in all that he did," and was someone the Franklin Square community looked up to.
"All his efforts and decisions were based upon what was in the best interest of the children," Ferrie said.
Mineola Superintendent Michael Nagler, who has known Manley for more than a decade, said Manley came to Franklin Square "as a numbers guy from Wall Street" and set the district on a financially responsible path. In the months leading up to his death, Manley spoke of expanding prekindergarten into a full-day curriculum, Nagler said.
Manley is survived by his wife, Barbara, his son, Ryan, his daughter, Jillian, his father, Robert Manley, his mother, Kathryn McCormick Manley, and his brother, Michael Manley.
Family members declined to comment on Manley's death, saying they want to wait until after his funeral services.
Visitation for Manley will be from noon to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Park Funeral Chapels in Garden City Park. Funeral services are still being arranged.
Classes resume in the district on Wednesday. Ranier W. Melucci, a former education professor at St. John's University, will serve as interim superintendent.