South Huntington School District is proud to present the new Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Vito D'Elia.
“Dr. D’Elia has the experience, leadership skills, work ethic, vision, and moral compass to build upon the incredible success of Dr. Bennardo and continue South Huntington's upward trajectory,” said Nicholas Ciappetta, the President of South Huntington’s Board of Education, after announcing Dr. D’Elia as the next Superintendent. “During the interview process, Dr. D’Elia impressed the Board of Education with his passion to be Superintendent and understanding of the Wildcat culture. I look forward to working closely with him to reach our shared goal of making South Huntington the finest school district on Long Island.” The Vice President of the Board, Laura Carey, provided her insight into the Board’s decision saying, “We believe that he will lead our school community in the coming years with confidence, poise, and conviction.” Ms. Carey went on to say, “The members of our South Huntington Board of Education look forward to working with Dr. D’Elia as our new Superintendent of Schools.”
Dr. D’Elia is hopeful for the future of South Huntington Schools. When addressing the Board and the South Huntington community, the new Superintendent stated, "Our goal in South Huntington will be to have students become lifelong learners where every student that graduates from Walt Whitman High School will have the ability to go on and extend their knowledge. Our work will be to enable students to be college-ready, career-ready, and citizenship-ready. We will continue to work collaboratively with all members of our learning community to ensure our students are reaching their full potential."
Congratulations, Dr. D'Elia!
South Huntington School District is excited to welcome former Walt Whitman High School Principal, Dr. John Murphy, as the new Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction.
As Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Murphy wants to provide students the opportunity to excel while motivating them to reach their full potential. “My goal is to keep pushing programs and our staff across all grade levels to make sure that students know that they have the ability to be successful,” Dr. Murphy stated. Dr. Murphy has always taken enormous pride in getting to know every student he comes across, knowing the impact making a connection can have on a student’s well being and motivation to get the most out of their education.
For those who are familiar with Dr. Murphy as Walt Whitman’s Principal, they can find solace in knowing that his presence within South Huntington Schools remains strong. “It was the best time of my career,” he remarked as he reflected on the countless relationships he’s formed since his start at Walt Whitman in 2015. It is his ability to make community connections that has always made Dr. Murphy an impactful leader and we look forward to his work at the James Kaden Administrative Offices.
Congratulations, Dr. Murphy!
Former principal of Maplewood Intermediate School, Dr. Gayle Steele, is now proudly serving as Assistant to the Superintendent of Elementary Education, K-6.
In her new position, Dr. Steele wants to highlight all of the good that is happening in the elementary schools, and make a seamless kindergarten through 12th grade experience. “I want people to know the hard work and dedication that goes into our elementary schools,” she stated.
Dr. Steele strongly believes there will always be countless opportunities for improvement. She wants our district’s children to get a sense of what it means to be a South Huntington student and “what it means to be a Wildcat,” encouraging them to nurture that feeling from the time they begin their educational journey to the time they graduate.
Dr. Steele is excited to work with the new team at JKAO, sharing “We are all primed and ready to get the kids back in school and keep moving forward.”
Congratulations, Dr. Steele!
We are thrilled to welcome David Barth as South Huntington School District’s new Supervisor of Physical Education, Health, Athletics and Recreation.
Throughout his education career, Mr. Barth has been an advocate for providing a quality Health and Physical Education program to all K-12 students. Outfitting students with knowledge and skills necessary to lead a safe, active, and healthy lifestyle is critical to an individual’s overall success. An aligned K-12 curriculum with lesson plans designed and developed to maximize student engagement and learning are the cornerstones to this success. It is the responsibility of all involved in Health and Physical Education to ensure that when the students step outside of the school environment, they are equipped with the ability to make healthy life choices and that they understand and recognize the value of participating in physical activity.
Mr. Barth believes that participation in an educational based interscholastic athletics program is a necessary supplement to any student’s education. Interscholastic athletics is a tool that can be used to help build character traits such as commitment, self-confidence, self-discipline, leadership and so much more. In addition to the many positive health benefits, participation in an educational based program creates a sense of belonging and community.
Training for Fall sports begins on August 23rd, and “you see the numbers at the offseason workouts are pretty strong because I think the kids are just so excited to be back,” shared the equally excited Athletic Director.
Welcome to our South Huntington family, Mr. Barth!
South Huntington School District is thrilled to welcome Reanna Fulton as the new Supervisor of Educational Technology.
Mrs. Fulton has a wide variety of experience, ranging from her work as a special education teacher in the West Islip Union Free School District, to serving in the United States Navy. As the new Supervisor of Educational Technology, there is much that she would like to accomplish that will benefit the district as whole, including building upon and securing the infrastructure and helping to streamline and integrate new technology. Mrs. Fulton strives to use technology as effectively as possible for optimal instruction, sharing “I want to be able to make technology something that's useful for people, something that's functional, and something that doesn't feel like it takes too much effort,” she added.
“My military experience, from being a military technician and a civilian technician, gave me that perspective of real IT, as well as being a systems administrator; I use all of those different experiences in my work,” Mrs. Fulton shared as she emphasized the importance of a solid foundation in instructional technology within schools.
New programs have already been implemented to better parent and staff communication during Mrs. Fulton’s time with us. The 2021-2022 school year introduces new programs including ParentSquare, ClassLink, and the IT Help Desk that will more effectively keep our families informed and help district employees stay better connected. Mrs. Fulton believes that having smooth technology helps every aspect of our district, both in the classroom and outside.
Welcome, Mrs. Fulton!
South Huntington School District is pleased to announce Dr. Marlee Rice as the new Assistant Supervisor of Data and Information Systems.
Dr. Rice worked at Stimson Middle School for the last 7 years as a special education teacher and is thrilled to begin her new role at the James Kaden Administrative Offices. While at Stimson, Dr. Rice worked alongside students, parents, and staff as the building’s technology mentor. Her time as a technology mentor has made her a huge asset to our Stimson family for so many years, and we are looking forward to Dr. Rice sharing her expertise within her new role as the Assistant Supervisor of Data and Information Systems.
“My main goal is supporting our district in a cohesive way with integrating technology and making sure it’s purposeful, and it’s really about meeting the needs of our students and families,” Dr. Rice expressed.
Congratulations, Dr. Rice!
South Huntington School District is happy to welcome Mr. William Hender as Maplewood Intermediate School’s new Principal.
Before coming to the South Huntington School District, Mr. Hender has gained much experience in several other districts. From June 1997 to August 2006, he was a Day Camp Director at the Ivy League Day Camp in Smithtown. From September 2010 to September 2014, he was Vice President of Marketing/New Business Development and Director of Camps, Tournaments and Coaching from September 2008 to September 2010 at the Long Island Rough Riders Professional Soccer Inc. in Plainview. From July 2017 to present, Mr. Hender serves as a Commack Union Free School District Board of Education Trustee. He was a Varsity High School Head Coach from June 2003 to August 2019 for Kings Park High School and for the Half Hollow Hills Central School District. He was Co-Director of Suffolk’s Edge Teacher Center at Western Suffolk BOCES in Wheatley Heights from January 2017 to June 2018. From September 2001 to August 2019, Mr. Hender was an Elementary and Middle Level Classroom Teacher at Kings Park Central Schools, and from June 2016 to August 2018 he was High School Assistant Principal and Dean of Discipline at Western Suffolk BOCES Regional Summer School. Most recently, from August 2019 to 2021, he served as Eastport Elementary School’s Principal for grades 3-6.
“We’re coming out of a pandemic where the world of education was turned upside down,” Mr. Hender commented. He wants to be someone that keeps Maplewood moving forward in an upward direction, always looking for what is in the best interest of the students. Mr. Hender, who is very big on communication and “having an open door,” strongly believes in parent involvement, as his mother was a PTA President, along with his wife now. “I know how important it is to have great volunteers within the district, and to have that support system throughout the school,” he said.
Welcome, Mr. Hender!
South Huntington School District is proud to introduce Mr. Kenneth Costa, Walt Whitman High School’s new Principal.
As a former Wildcat, Mr. Costa is ecstatic to be working for his alma mater. Mr. Costa has always boasted about his wonderful experiences as a Walt Whitman High School graduate, and he feels honored to be serving the community that has given him so much. After graduating from the district, Mr. Costa went on to serve in the Marine Corps. He graduated first in his class and was meritoriously promoted three times in his 10-year tenure. This experience taught him the self-discipline and leadership skills that vastly translate into his role as an educator.
One main goal Mr. Costa would like to accomplish as Principal of Whitman is to have every student be invested in their own education and wanting Whitman to be their safe haven. “This is a big family and I want everybody to feel comfortable coming here; this is our home,” he commented. Mr. Costa wishes for the saying “Once a wildcat, always a wildcat” to stand true, encouraging each student to feel the same sense of passion and pride from where they came from.
Welcome back to South Huntington, Mr. Costa!
We are proud to announce Mr. Jose Castillo as one of Walt Whitman High School’s new Assistant Principals.
Most recently Mr. Castillo served as Administrative Dean at Whitman, with daily management of student behavior, attendance and discipline from August 2016 to 2021. One aspect that he enjoyed the most as Administrative Dean was the one-on-one connections he could make with students. By becoming engaged in the disciplinary realm, he would be able to see students from an interpersonal standpoint. Mr. Castillo has always been motivated to support parents and keep them in-the-know. As he moves forward in his new role as Assistant Principal, he wishes to continue to think of what is best for the students and the staff. Ultimately, he hopes students feel like Whitman is a second home by getting them more involved and having them see the high school as a place to make cherished memories.
Congratulations, Mr. Castillo!
We are proud to announce Dr. Kendall Richards as one of Walt Whitman High School’s new Assistant Principals.
As Assistant Principal, Dr. Richards recognizes the heightened responsibilities, checks and balances, and the importance of “communicating early and often” with fellow administrators. He explained how his social work experience and this new administrative role have many parallels, including “the ability to interact with various facets of the school in order to support the students’ needs, family needs, and the school’s needs at the time.”
In his new position, Dr. Richards wants to be as accessible as possible, in which he said, “I want to make sure that everybody in the building knows that I am a reliable resource.” He wants to stay on top of attendance, keeping students coming to school, and communicating with them and their parents on school policies and procedures. He wishes to “ensure that our students have the capability of reaching their goals to the highest potential.”
Congratulations, Dr. Richards!
South Huntington School District is proud to announce that Ms. Charlotte Hirsch-Beckman is now serving as Walt Whitman High School’s Administrative Dean.
As a former Social Studies teacher and advisor of Natural Helpers and the Ambassadors Club, Ms. Hirsch-Beckman expressed that it’s been an honor to be involved in these roles that have given her the opportunity to meet students in and outside of her classroom. “This inspired me to become an administrator,” she commented while reflecting on her previous roles at the high school. She is always looking for new ways to make more impactful experiences for students.
As Administrative Dean, Ms. Hirsch-Beckman will hold a primary focus on the upperclassmen grades at Whitman. Her proactive approach and ability to get students involved are a few of her greatest strengths that will bring her success in this new position. She will continue to work in helping Whitman’s students feel understood and find their safe spaces, whether that be a club, sport, theater, or community involvement
Congratulations, Ms. Hirsch-Beckman!
We are excited to welcome Ms. Laura Brothers as South Huntington School District’s new School Transportation Supervisor.
After working in animal rescue, Laura Brothers became a school bus driver in Smithtown from 1999-2010. She would manage her bus, work with dispatch, along with supervisors and parents in order to transport the students to and from school in a safe and timely manner. Ms. Brothers would also organize and plan routes for safety and efficiency. From 2015-2020, Ms. Brothers had taken on multiple positions in the Wyandanch Union Free School District in the Transportation Department. She worked as Dispatcher, School Bus Driver Coordinator, Transportation Coordinator, and Transportation Supervisor. These responsibilities enabled her to coordinate and supervise school bus drivers, monitor, and schedule runs for in-district schools and private schools. She has a CDL New York State Driver License class B (P) and (S) endorsements and is a member of the N.Y.A.P.T., the New York State Association For Pupil Transportation.
“South Huntington is really about community,” Ms. Brothers shared. Communication between administration is key to form a combined effort to support the families in the district. Ms. Brothers appreciates all of the parents and community members who trust their team to transport their “most precious cargo,” the children. “It doesn’t get any more precious than that,” she expressed.
Welcome, Ms. Brothers!
The South Huntington School District is happy to welcome the new Supervisor of Facilities, Mr. Dennis Martin.
Before joining the South Huntington family, Mr. Martin worked as Facilities Director for the Bayport-Blue Point School District. Upon seeing the position open up in South Huntington, Mr. Martin felt great excitement for the opportunity to work within such a large district and diverse community that he has heard so many positive comments about.
Mr. Martin has been working in schools for about 24 years, from his very first position in the Commack School District and multiple others since arriving in South Huntington. Mr. Martin has worked “from the bottom up,” over the years, sharing “I came through the ranks, and have been around schools and in schools all along.”
In addition to his facilities experience, Mr. Martin also received his Masters in Social Work from Stony Brook University. Mr. Martin always strives to be “people-centered,” and looks forward to the opportunity to get to know the community better, learning their needs, and being able to reach people and help out on a broader level.
Welcome, Mr. Martin!