Riverhead schools hires new finance head

SHELTER ISLAND REPORTER FILE PHOTO | The Riverhead School Board is set to approve the contract for Sam Schneider, the current business leader for the Shelter Island School District.

With his wife, infant son and parents looking on, the Riverhead school board appointed Sam Schneider as the district’s new assistant superintendent for administration and finance Tuesday night.

By a vote of 6 to 0, board members approved Mr. Schneider’s contract for the position, effective July 1, 2011, until June 30, 2014. A resounding applause then broke out in the audience of about 50 people who attended the school board meeting, which was held in the Riverhead High School auditorium.

Mr. Schneider currently serves as head of business for the Shelter Island School District.

“I feel the committee did a great job in finding a finance director because I know they are hard to find,” said board member Kathy Berezny.

Mr. Schneider graduated from Cornell University in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in government and earned a law degree from Vermont Law School in 2005. He also earned a School District Business Leader certificate from Dowling College, where, as of 2008, he was working on an MBA, according to Shelter Island Reporter newspaper archives.

Mr. Schneider’s post on Shelter Island, to which he was appointed in November 2008, was his first full-time position as a school business official. It is not clear how much Mr. Schneider will earn in Riverhead, but he received a pro-rated salary of $95,717 from Jan. 1, 2010, through June 30, 2010, in Shelter Island.

“As a Riverhead resident, I am very excited to be working here,” Mr. Schneider said after the meeting.

Mr. Schneider will take over July 1 from interim assistant superintendent for finance and operations Joseph Singleton. Mr. Singleton, a retired Riverhead school administrator who earns $800 a day in his current role, was appointed earlier this year after former business administrator Michael Ivanoff, who had been a tenured business head in the Rocky Point district before coming to Riverhead, was terminated.

To date, school district officials have not said why Mr. Ivanoff was fired.

Board member Angela DeVito was not at Tuesday’s meeting.

In other school board news, the following 18 district teachers received tenure Tuesday: Angelica Diaz, Charles Gassar, Paul Hewitt, Dali Rastello, Elizabeth Scaduto, Frank Amitrano, Kristine Cresser, Donna Elmore, Katherine Fitzpatrick, Jennifer Howlett, Caitlin Jablow, Alison Laino, Marisa Medina, Denise Stevenson, Susan Monahan, Christine Morris, Stephanie Piraino and Keri-Ann Westfall.

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