Field of Three for Superintendent Job

    Working with Raymond Fell, a search consultant with the Eastern Suffolk Board of Cooperative Educational Services, the East Hampton School Board has narrowed its choices for the the next school superintendent to just three candidates. They are the interim superintendent, Richard Burns, Sue Naeve, who co-chairs the district’s citizens advisory committee, and Robert Tymann, an assistant superintendent in the Lindenhurst district.
    Initially, Mr. Fell looked at over a dozen candidates. But by the time the interviews with the East Hampton School Board rolled around last weekend, he had narrowed the field to six. One applicants dropped out before the interviews, and the board chose the finalists from the remaining five.
    Mr. Fell said yesterday that he gathered community opinion at a forum in January to help him focus on the qualifications best suited to East Hampton. “Of course they need to be professionally qualified,” he said, “but I also took into consideration how they would fit in.”
    “I think it’s been an excellent process,” Laura Anker Grossman, the school board president, said yesterday.
    “The candidates are very interesting in very different ways,” she said, refusing to say more. She added that she did not want to prejudice the interviews still to be conducted by a committee comprising teachers, PTA members, and residents on April 16. The 24-person committee will split into three groups to interview the  candidates in rotation. “This will give the board additional information about the candidates, which will help them with their decision,” Mr. Fell said.
    Mr. Burns, who has been with the school district since 1990, was the director of pupil personnel services prior to becoming interim superintendent. His five children have all gone to East Hampton and Springs schools. In January, when the forum was held, many of the people who attended came to speak in favor of Mr. Burns.
    Dr. Naeve came to East Hampton from Southern California, where she was a teacher, an assistant principal, and, for 10 years, assistant superintendent in the San Gabriel School District. She has been active on the citizens advisory committee since its formation in early 2011, and was part of the triumvirate, with Ira Bezzoza and Bill Grathwohl, who recently examined possible consolidation solutions.
    Mr. Tymann has a background in English as a second language and has worked in New York City and Levittown as an educator, principal, and assistant principal. The Lindenhurst district, where he is now assistant superintendent, has almost 7,000 students.
    The district is considering a salary of approximately $175,000 to $190,000 a year for the job, well below the reported $265,000 a year that the previous superintendent, Raymond Gualtieri, was earning before he left in July.
    A decision could be reached as early as April 17, although Dr. Grossman said the end of the month was more likely. “We really worked together on this, not just as a school board, but as a community,” she said.