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Jul 8, 2015 11:25 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Tuckahoe Interim Superintendent Sets Goals For His Time With District

Dr. Allan Gerstenlauer will be the interim superintendent at Tuckahoe School until October.
Jul 8, 2015 11:46 AM

Dr. Allan Gerstenlauer had been retired from his position as superintendent of the Longwood Central School District for about four years when he was offered the opportunity to serve as an educational administrator once again.

Dr. Gerstenlauer said he could not pass up the chance to return to education and serve as the interim superintendent of the Tuckahoe School District, a post he began just last week.

“I love being retired, but I also kind of love coming back,” the Shelter Island resident said in an interview in his office this week, on his third day of work. “I live in a small community, so it just seems like a very, very good fit. So I’m very excited about it.”

The Tuckahoe School Board appointed Dr. Gerstenlauer to the position in June. He will serve as the interim superintendent until October 31 as the district conducts a search for a permanent superintendent following the departure of Chris Dyer. Dr. Gerstenlauer will work three days a week and receive $800 per day.

Dr. Gerstenlauer served as superintendent of the Longwood District from 2005 to 2011, but worked in the district in many administrative and teaching capacities beforehand, starting in the 1970s as a social studies teacher. He spent the last several months working as an interim assistant superintendent there before coming to Tuckahoe.

Last week, the district announced that it is seeking input from the community about what kind of qualities they believe a superintendent should possess. Residents can offer comments in an online survey up until Friday, July 31. The survey is accessible through the district’s website, tuckahoecommonsd.com.

Dr. Gerstenlauer will be tasked with the duties a full-time superintendent would hold, which he said includes overseeing the summer program, and helping the district prepare for the upcoming school year. He said that while Tuckahoe is a much smaller district than Longwood is, he does not foresee his work to be any different, other than keeping track of fewer students and staff members.

“Certainly the numbers are different, but schools are schools, and being in administrative positions is the same,” he said. “You need to be yourself. You need to talk to people. You need to listen. You need to do the right thing. And that’s not different from a large school to a small place. It’s on a different scale, but it’s the same thing.”

Now through October Dr. Gerstenlauer will work to help the district reconstruct its teacher evaluation system, as per state requirements, as well as help the School Board negotiate the teachers’ contract. As for Tuckahoe’s tuition agreements with Southampton, he said he will not be involved with that aspect unless he ends up working beyond October and into November, when the negotiations usually begin.

The administrator said that he hopes to put his experience acquiring grants to use so that he can secure funds for Tuckahoe for the upcoming school year. He also said his main goal will be to “make the Tuckahoe School, and every classroom here, a place that I would love for my grandchildren to attend.

“That’s the purpose,” he continued. “So to the extent that I can do that in the few months that I’m here, I’ll be very, very happy.”

When Dr. Gerstenlauer first pulled up to the Tuckahoe School, he said he was impressed with the facility. But when he met the teachers, staff and students, he said it was further assurance that he would enjoy his time in the district. “The people are absolutely wonderful, and the students who attend here were delightful,” he said. “Everybody is intent on doing what’s best for the children that they serve.”

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It's called get some more retirement from the system. None of this helps education or Tuckahoe's financial hole, but who cares its taxpayer money.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jul 13, 15 4:50 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By lamm (304), Southampton on Jul 13, 15 8:46 PM
There are a couple of administrative positions at Southampton missing from Newsday's list.
By interestedtaxpayer (21), southampton on Jul 13, 15 9:19 PM
What's the goal? To receive 1-2 years of beautiful salary that will inevitably lead to the school's demise? Great. I'm glad I'm not a tuckahoe taxpayer.
By Lets go mets (377), Southampton on Jul 13, 15 10:24 PM
Thanks for stepping in Doctor Gerstenlauer. As you will soon find out, Tuckahoe is a great place to learn. I would refrain from reviewing the comments under stories having to do with the district....it's not going to give you the warm and fuzzies.
By KevinLuss (356), SH on Jul 14, 15 7:11 AM