Riverhead school board bids farewell to Tim Griffing

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Tim Griffing is honored with a plaque Tuesday night recognizing his nine years of service to the Riverhead school board.

The Riverhead school board took a moment during its final meeting of the 2011-12 school year to honor longtime board member Timothy Griffing’s final night on the board.

Mr. Griffing has spent nine years on the school board and did not seek re-election for the seat this year, making Tuesday night’s meeting his last. He served longer than any of the current board members.

“Tim, it’s been honor to serve with you,” said board president Ann Cotten-Degrasse. “Thank you so much, Tim”

Mr. Griffing, who was elected in 2003, said after the meeting that he decided not to seek reelection this year because he needed to spend more time working at his business, the Farmview Deli in Calverton.

Mr. Griffing also has two children in college, and said his work schedule made it difficult for him to devote all his energies to the school board.

“It was my time,” he said. “I felt that it wasn’t fair to the district for me not to put 100 percent of my time into it, because I always did.”

The longtime board member said he was most proud of getting the school bond passed during a public vote last fall.

“We have more space for the children,” he said. “Our buildings were in disrepair and we needed a lot of attention for structural repairs.”

Mr. Griffing also said he was glad that the current administration, headed by superintendent Nancy Carney, has provided some stability to the district’s leadership after several years of quick administrator turnover.

As for his plans for the future, Mr. Griffing said he’s looking forward to being able to relax a little more.

“I turned 50 last year,” he said smiling. “It’s time to just settle back.”

Thomas Carson, owner of the Farm Country Kitchen on West Main Street in Riverhead, will take over Mr. Griffing’s seat at the board’s reorganizational meeting on July 10. Mr. Carson won the seat after he and now-board member Susan Koukounas ran unopposed for the board’s two open seats. Mr. Carson was not in attendance Tuesday night.
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