The Longwood Central School District has appointed Michael Lonergan as its new superintendent of schools.

Lonergan, who has served as deputy superintendent for the past five years, will take over as the top administrator in the 9,100-student district on Sept. 1. He replaces Allan Gerstenlauer, who is retiring.

Lonergan joined Longwood in 2002 as assistant superintendent for pupil personnel. Before coming to Longwood he worked as a school counselor, pupil personnel director and adjunct professor, district officials said.

He is signed to a five-year contract that pays $240,000 per year. Gerstenlauer earns $227,000.

"I want students to leave our district prepared for the challenging work they will encounter once they graduate," Lonergan said in a statement, and pledged to develop programs to that end.

Gerstenlauer has been superintendent since 2005. He joined the school district in 1974 as a social studies teacher. He expressed his confidence in Lonergan in a statement.

"Throughout Dr. Lonergan's tenure at Longwood, I have been impressed with his intelligence, creativity and deep concern for the welfare of the students we serve," the statement read. "I sincerely believe he has all the attributes to lead this district as it continues its path to excellence."

The district's board of education on Thursday unanimously appointed Lonergan as the new superintendent.

The Longwood school district has a budget of $205.6 million. It serves all of Middle Island, Coram, Ridge and Yaphank, and parts of Medford, Shirley, Shoreham, Miller Place, Mount Sinai and Upton.

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