Floral Park-Bellerose school board appoints Sottile as superintendent

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Dr. Kathleen Sottile has been appointed as superintendent for the Floral Park-Bellerose school district. (Photo courtesy of Floral Park-Bellerose School District )

After the June announcement that Schools Superintendent Michael Dantona was resigning, the Floral Park-Bellerose Board of Education disclosed at its July 1 meeting that it has already appointed a new superintendent. 

Dr. Kathleen Sottile, of West Hempstead, has been chosen to serve as the district’s new superintendent, effective Sept. 1. 

“It is an honor and a privilege to serve the Floral Park-Bellerose community in this new role,” Sottile said in a statement.  

At a June 6 board meeting, it was announced that Dantona was resigning effective Aug. 30. He has been the district’s superintendent for two years.

“For the past two years as superintendent of schools, I have been dedicated to providing the highest quality of education to our children in our district …Therefore, with a heavy heart, I announce my intention to resign from the district, effective Sept. 1, to pursue other opportunities.”  Dantona said in a statement. 

Laura Ferone, president of the board, said at the time of the announcement, “The board extends its appreciation to Dr. Dantona for his service to the school district and wishes him well in his future endeavors.” 

Ferone stressed to parents in June the importance of the selection process saying, “Please be assured, the board takes this responsibility very seriously and has made it our top priority. Knowing how soon the new school year will begin, the board has begun the search process for a new superintendent.

At the July 1 meeting, Ferrone said “after careful consideration, the board realized the ideal candidate to move our district forward was already a fixture in the community.” 

Sottile was assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction at Sewanhaka Central High School District for the past two years. She also served as the principal at Floral Park Memorial High School for 12 years. Prior to her tenure with Sewanhaka, Sottile held assistant principal positions in Scranton High School and Delaware Valley High School in northeastern Pennsylvania.

“I have always found this community to be welcoming and child-centered, and I am looking forward to building on the strong educational foundation the district brings to each and every child in its care,” Sottile said. 

She earned her doctorate of education at Indiana University of Pennslyvania, and her master’s degree and bachelor’s degree from Marywood University.

At the July 1 meeting of the Floral Park-Bellerose UFSD, Michael Culotta was also appointed as a trustee to the Board of Education.  Culotta and his wife have lived in the district for four years and have two children. He is an attorney with a practice focused on large-scale infrastructure projects throughout the United States. 

“I would like to extend my gratitude to our administrators, teachers, staff members, parents, community residents and to the Board of Education.  I am confident that this Board of Education will find an exceptional leader to lead this district to the next level of success in the future.” Dantona said in his farewell statement before the appointment of Sottile.

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