Ex-Riverhead schools boss takes assistant superintendent post

Former Riverhead interim superintendent Joseph Singleton was appointed interim assistant superintendent for finance and operations by the Riverhead school board Tuesday, thus putting him in the position held by Michael Ivanoff, whose resignation or termination from that position has never been formally acknowledged by the board.

Mr. Singelton’s appointment runs from Dec. 15 through June 30 and pays him $800 per day. He had recently been appointed as a part-time financial analyst at the same pay rate. The assistant superintendent is traditionally a full-time position and his new post is considered full time. He will work five days a week and will receive 15 paid leave days that can be used for vacation, sick time and personal leave, but will not receive health benefits, officials said. He can be paid for unused leave days when he leaves the district. Mr. Singleton is a retired BOCES administrator who reportedly received a pension of $143,771 in 2009, according to the Empire Center for New York State Policy’s website. He retired in 1995.

Mr. Ivanoff, whose salary was $175,000, according to the state education department, was not present at Tuesday’s board meeting. School officials have declined to discuss his departure. Calls to his office have been forwarded to Mr. Singleton in recent weeks, and school sources have confirmed that he has left the district. Yet there has been no resolution accepting Mr. Ivanoff’s resignation or in any way acknowledging his departure.

School board president Ann Cotten-DeGrasse said after the meeting that she could not discuss Mr. Ivanoff’s situation or even say whether he was still employed by the district. But she said information could be coming in the near future.

During the meeting, Ms. Cotten-DeGrasse acknowledged that the subject of Mr. Ivanoff’s apparent departure would probably come up, and said, “after a lot of deliberation in executive session, you’re going to have to trust us that we are doing what is in the best interest of the school district and the students who go here.”

Board members Kathy Berezny and Angela DeVito voted against Mr. Singleton’s appointment.

Mr. Singleton, a Mattituck resident, has served as both interim superintendent and interim assistant superintendent in the Riverhead School District in recent years.

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