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Former Riverhead teacher tapped as new SWR superintendent

The Shoreham-Wading River Board of Education is scheduled to appoint a new school district superintendent at Tuesday’s meeting.

Gerard Poole, who currently works as assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction for the Freeport School District, will replace interim superintendent Neil Lederer on July 1.

School board president John Zukowski said Thursday that Mr. Poole’s love of education is one trait that made him stand out from other candidates.

“Every kid is different and every teacher is different,” Mr. Zukowski said. “The state education department wants to treat every kid like they’re just a number. I think Mr. Poole breaks through that barrier and we’re confident he’s going to treat these kids as kids so that they can develop their talents to the best that we can provide.”

A Mattituck native, Mr. Poole taught in the Riverhead School District before moving to Freeport. As an “East End guy,” he understands the history of the SWR school district, as well as its current state, Mr. Zukowski said, adding those aspects also helped him rise to the top during the district’s superintendent search.

“I think [Mr. Poole] is going to do great things,” Mr. Zukowski said. “We had a great year under Mr. Lederer and we’ve always had the parent involvement and we have an incredible group of kids. So, I think the district is really poised to take the next step and become one of those districts that when people talk about the really special districts on Long Island, Shoreham-Wading River will be one of them.”

Mr. Poole is expected to attend the Tuesday, April 18, school board meeting at the Albert G. Prodell Middle School. A walk-through of the building begins at 6 p.m. and the regular public meeting starts at 7.

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