Board of Education
2023 Superintendent Search
Message from the Board of Education
June 14, 2023
Dear Great Neck School Community,
We wish to extend our sincerest gratitude to all members of our school community for the continuing outpouring of love and support being expressed for Dr. Teresa Prendergast and one another. Dr. Prendergast’s warm and caring personality, gracious leadership style and unwavering dedication continues to have a profound impact on our entire District. Experiencing our community band together in common purpose and shared grief this week has been a source of strength to many. Counseling services continue to be offered in our buildings for any student or staff member in need.
Though our hearts are heavy, we know Dr. Prendergast’s legacy is ongoing. At our public action meeting tonight, we will hear from administrators and building leaders, proposing tenure candidates who were put forth by and guided under Dr. Prendergast’s tutelage. We will also hear reports from our many goal-driven committees. We expect to appropriately commemorate Dr. Prendergast’s legacy at a later date in the future.
As was shared with our community Monday evening, the Board appointed Dr. Stephen C. Lando as Interim Superintendent until the appointment of an incoming Superintendent of Schools. Dr. Lando has visited each building this week, connecting with students and staff members. We thank him for his leadership and for assisting our community during this extremely difficult time.
The process to find the next Superintendent of Schools was initiated by the Board in January after Dr. Prendergast announced her intention to retire. The Board engaged District Wise Search Consultants to facilitate a superintendent search. This process included community input from various stakeholder groups, as well as extensive evaluation of highly qualified candidates. We thank all of the participants in the focus groups for their participation.
It was our goal to announce the District’s next Superintendent in June to prepare for a period of transition. At tonight’s Board of Education meeting, Dr. Kenneth R. Bossert will be introduced to the community as our next Superintendent of Schools. We anticipate appointing veteran educator Dr. Bossert, effective August 1st.
Dr. Bossert will join our District from the Elwood Union Free School District, where he has served as Superintendent for the past seven years. During his time there, Elwood-John H. Glenn High School was designated as a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education, Elwood Middle School was named a School to Watch by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform and all buildings within the District were designated as No Place for Hate schools by the Anti-Defamation League. Additionally, under Dr. Bossert’s leadership, the District successfully passed an extensive capital bond project and gained overwhelming community support for its annual budget proposals, all under the allowable tax levy cap.
Prior to his superintendency in Elwood, Dr. Bossert served as the Superintendent of Schools of the Port Jefferson Union Free School District for five years, as well as worked in the Three Village Central School District, first as the district’s Executive Director for Curriculum and Instruction and then transitioning into the role of Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. He also served in the capacity of Principal in the Eastport-South Manor Central School District, Assistant Principal in the Longwood Central School District, and as an elementary school teacher.
Dr. Bossert is active in various professional educational organizations, including serving on the executive committee of the New York State Council of School Superintendents as treasurer. He is also a five-year member of the Commissioner’s Advisory Council, treasurer of the SCOPE Board of Directors, and serves as an adjunct professor for Stony Brook University’s educational administration program. Additionally, Dr. Bossert is a past president of the Suffolk County School Superintendents Association.
Of his appointment, Dr. Bossert states, “It is with great pride and tremendous humility that I prepare to assume the post as Superintendent of Schools and Instructional Leader of the Great Neck Public Schools. I appreciate the confidence demonstrated by the Board of Education and look forward to partnering with all stakeholders upon my arrival on August 1st. I join the community in mourning the loss of Dr. Prendergast, a cherished colleague who will be missed by all. My thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends, and the entire Great Neck School community as we grieve.”
The Board has confidence that Dr. Bossert possesses the qualities we sought to lead our beloved school community and to continue the traditions of kindness and excellence which Dr. Prendergast guarded with fidelity.
We do hope you will join us in welcoming Dr. Bossert to Great Neck.
The Great Neck Board of Education
Rebecca Sassouni, President
Jeffrey Shi, Vice President
Barbara Berkowitz, Trustee
Donna Peirez, Trustee
Grant Toch, Trustee