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Story - Education

Oct 6, 2010 2:33 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Westhampton Beach superintendent will retire at end of school year

Oct 6, 2010 2:33 PM

Westhampton Beach School District Superintendent Lynn Schwartz typically arrives at work between 7 and 7:15 a.m., and stays until 5 p.m. or later—whenever his daily lineup of back-to-back meetings runs out.

It is a habit he’ll have to break on August 1, when he retires after 10 years at the helm of the district he has seen through building renovations, a curriculum expansion and a technology revolution.

The Westhampton Beach School Board accepted Mr. Schwartz’s retirement notice at a School Board meeting on Monday night. It will now be up to the board to conduct a search for a replacement for Mr. Schwartz—who will make $230,215 this year, according to State Department of Education figures—in the months before his departure.

“His strength is his passion and his willingness to engage people and his extreme work ethic,” School Board President Aram Terchunian said of Mr. Schwartz. “He’s one of the hardest-working guys I think I’ve ever met in my life.”

Mr. Schwartz, 58, commutes from his home in Miller Place every day, and currently presides over a district of 1,818 students, about 200 teachers and approximately 75 staff members, he said. His retirement will mark the end of a 36-year career in education, during which he has served as a teacher, a coach and an administrator at schools across Suffolk County.

“Education—it’s a real noble business and the work is very important and it’s very professionally rewarding,” he said.

The superintendent’s retirement is still months away, but he said he is thinking about continuing to serve on the New York Public School Athletic Association Section XI council, where he is currently a superintendent representative, once he retires. Mr. Schwartz said he and his wife, Ann, who have two adult daughters, are also thinking about traveling.

Mr. Schwartz’s career went full circle. He worked as a social studies teacher at Westhampton Beach High School for eight years, ending in 1984. During that time, he also coached freshman football, varsity basketball and junior varsity baseball. After working at schools in Port Jefferson, Riverhead and Miller Place, he returned to Westhampton Beach as an assistant superintendent in 1998.

At that time, the district did not sport a wet lab, a synthetic turf field or lights for the football field, nor did it provide a laptop for every student in grades four through 12. It now does all that. Mr. Schwartz listed those among his proudest accomplishments, and was quick to credit the School Board and the taxpayers for supporting the district.

“Westhampton Beach is a special place,” he said. “We’ve had excellent support from the community here. We have a strong faculty. Our administrators, I think, are terrific. Our support staff works extremely hard. And we have a Board of Education that is driven, I think, to support the students.”

Mr. Schwartz said he has worked under four School Board presidents—and all of them are still serving on the board. He said the stability of having multiple long-serving board members has been a boon for the district.

The superintendent said he is also proud that the district now offers a variety of Advanced Placement courses and has “raised the bar” academically, while hiring a number of “very fine” teachers and administrators.

“The people that you leave behind—that is the legacy you leave behind,” he said.

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Lynn will be an extremely difficult act to follow. His never ending agenda of improvments really moved the district ahead during his 10 years at the helm.
By zappy (65), east quogue on Oct 6, 10 1:31 PM
1 member liked this comment
Lynn's work ethic, numerous accomplishments, and moral fortitude will be very difficult to replace. The School Board has a great challenge ahead of them. They should start now and take their time.
By Steven (113), Westhampton on Oct 7, 10 10:37 AM
1 member liked this comment
wow!!

he works until 5pm?

what an animal.
By C Law (351), Water Mill on Oct 9, 10 5:36 AM
When you consider that not only does he start his work day at 7am, you should keep in mind that most school administrators are gone mid-afternoon and district offices locked up like steel drums by 4pm. The fact is that he puts in more than the traditional 8 hour workday; so why the sarcasm?
By EastEnder2 (30), Hampton Bays on Oct 13, 10 4:11 PM
The sarcasm comes from the fact that school administrators have it made. At the amount of money Lynn was getting paid he should have been happy to put in 10 hour work days.
By Old School (22), Southampton on Oct 14, 10 2:36 PM
While I completely agree with you that school administrators 'have it made' and that Mr. Schwartz was well (very well, actually), compensated, nowhere does it claim that he ever complained about the hours, rather it merely points out that he went above & beyond what was expected--which is more than can be said about alot of administrators. Instead of criticizing Mr. Schwartz & not wishing him well in his retirement, perhaps we should focus on what other district administrators are doing to justify ...more
By EastEnder2 (30), Hampton Bays on Oct 16, 10 6:25 PM
Is it true that Lynn Schwartz’s salary went up $75,000 from 2010 to 2011?

Lynn Schwartz Salary Increases:
2008 Salary=$207,732
2009 Salary=$226,864
2010 Salary=$223,510
2011 Salary=$298,498

Wow - didn’t Westhampton lay off teachers due to a lack of funding, yet there is funding for these raises?
How can these raises be given out in these times of economic crisis?
When does the tax payer and student get relief?
The Board of Ed could have ...more
By A_Concerned_Parent (37), manorville on Mar 30, 12 1:17 PM