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Greg Meyer elected president of Riverhead Board of Education

07/03/2019 1:30 PM |

In a split vote, the Riverhead Board of Education on Tuesday named Greg Meyer as its president and Brian Connelly as its vice president for the 2019-2020 school year.

Mr. Meyer replaces Susan Koukounas as president, as the two have been taking turns holding that position in the past six school years.

Mr. Meyer was president in 2014-15, 2017-18 and now 2019-20, while Ms. Koukounas was president in the alternating years.

Also in the running for school board president this year was Laurie Downs, who was the top vote-getter in the May 21 election, where she was re-elected to a second three-year term.

Backing Ms. Downs was board member Therese Zuhoski.

“It is my opinion that the board needs direction from a trustee that has not sat as board president in the last two terms,” Ms. Zuhoski said. “That’s why I voted for Laurie.”

Ms. Downs added, “Every year, it’s the same old, same old. If you do the same thing over and over and over and expect something different, it just makes it the same.”

None of the other board members commented, and the vote was 5-2 in favor of Mr. Meyer.

Mr. Connelly, who was elected in May 2018, was elected vice president over Ms. Downs, in the same 5-2 vote.

The board on Tuesday also swore in Ms. Downs and Matthew Wallace, who both elected in May, as their terms officially began Tuesday, since the school year runs from July to June.

Personnel Director moving east

Brian Doelger, the district’s director of professional personnel, is leaving the district to become superintendent in the Shelter Island School District, according to Riverhead Superintendent Aurelia Henriquez.

Mr. Dueler was hired by the board on March 12 at an annual salary of $160,000, which was prorated to $31,711 for the 2018-19 school year.

He had previously taught at Shelter Island from 2010 to 2014.

Shelter Island’s previous superintendent, Christine Finn, left that post at the end of June to become superintendent in Carle Place.

Photo caption: Greg Meyer is sworn in as board president Tuesday night. (Credit: Tim Gannon) 

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