The upcoming school year will be the last year Superintendent Ralph Ferrie leads the five high school’s that make up the Sewanhaka Central High School District following a school board vote on Monday approving Ferrie’s retirement.
“For the past seven years, I, along with an exceptional administrative team, have worked hard to meet the needs of our students academically, emotionally and culturally, as well as through athletic programs and the arts,” Ferrie said in a district release.
Ferrie is retiring after 44 years in education.
He was recently named a Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award recipient.
When Ferrie came to the Long Island district in 2011, the state had imposed the 2 percent tax cap. Ferrie’s tenure as superintendent also saw reductions in state aid and changes to curriculum as a result of Common Core Learning Standards.
Despite the challenges he faced, the district under his leadership made making capital and curriculum improvements.
Under Ferrie the district passed an $84 million bond, which improved all five high schools, and passed an $18 million Energy Performance Contract, which installed a solar energy system across the district.
Ferrie also brought a number of initiatives to the district, including the Cultural Proficiency Program.
The cultural program allowed Sewanhaka become a founding member of the Long Island Consortium for Excellence and Equity, a program that offers professional development training on equity, diversity and cultural responsiveness.
The program also integrated advance programs for seventh and eighth graders and offer multilingual resources for students.
Board of Education President David Del Santo said the board is grateful for all that Ferrie has done for the district during his time as superintendent.
“He is a consummate professional, and we are sad he will be leaving, but are confident that we can find an equally impressive successor within this generous timeframe,” Del Santo said in the release.
As Ferrie prepares to step down from his top job in the district, he said it has been an honor to serve the communities of Elmont, Franklin Square, Floral Park and New Hyde Park-Garden City Park.
“I have much appreciation for the students, staff, community and board of education in this fine district,” Ferrie said.