Dear Locust Valley School Community,
It is with great enthusiasm that the Locust Valley Central School District Board of Education announces the appointment of Kenneth E. Graham, Ed.D. as Superintendent of Schools beginning July 1, 2020.
Dr. Graham was appointed at the Board of Education meeting on May 5. Board President Jennifer Maselli said Dr. Graham is the right fit for Locust Valley. "Dr. Graham stood out as the right choice not just for his outstanding qualifications in a field of experienced candidates, but as someone determined and willing to roll up his sleeves, work with all stakeholders, and move our district forward.”
Dr. Graham comes to us from Sachem Central School District where he has served as Superintendent since 2016. In that role, he has overseen 15 schools with nearly 13,000 students and a $327 million school budget. He has been successful in carrying out the district goals developed in collaboration with the Board of Education, administrators and stakeholders. “We are confident he will carry out the goals of our district just as successfully, while helping to develop and enhance the education and financial stability of our schools,” Ms. Maselli said.
“I look forward to meeting with the members of the school community and developing common goals that the entire Locust Valley School District can work toward,” Dr. Graham said. “These goals will provide the direction to delivering results for our students’ academic and social and emotional advancement. This summer I will share my entry plan, which will outline how I intend to serve the community in my first 100 days. I look forward to learning about and becoming a part of the community well before my July 1 start date.”
Prior to joining the Sachem schools, Dr. Graham served as the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction in the Long Beach Public Schools, advancing to the central office position after serving as that district’s Director of Science, K-12. In that role, Dr. Graham oversaw an award-winning science research program and helped the district implement the International Baccalaureate program. He spent a total of 19 years in the Long Beach Public Schools.
The Board of Education worked with the search firm School Leadership, LLC to assist in the search. Meetings were held with 60 community groups and an online survey netted more than 300 responses, helping to create the list of criteria used to find the right candidate. The firm received 42 applications, including 22 from sitting superintendents. The Board of Education overcame the challenges of meeting remotely with the School Leadership, LLC team to narrow down their options. They interviewed the finalists remotely and then met the final two candidates in person in a socially distant manner with masks and gloves. The Board spent significant time vetting each of these candidates. After choosing Dr. Graham as the finalist, his references only further enforced the Board's conviction that he was the perfect choice for our district and he was given a contract that includes an annual base salary of $275,000.
“Finding a superintendent is the most important task a Board of Education can undertake and doing so during a pandemic heightens that challenge,” Ms. Maselli said. “However, we took on that challenge as a team and have made the best decision for our school district. We look forward to a new start with Dr. Graham.”
Dr. Graham will replace Interim Superintendent of Schools Thomas P. Dolan, Ed.D who has provided invaluable support for the district this school year while we searched for a permanent school district leader.
Jennifer Maselli, President
Shawn C. Steele, Vice President
John Del Tatto Jr., Trustee
Margaret Marchand, Trustee
Brian T. Nolan, Trustee
Joseph A. Zito M.D., Trustee