Interim Leader May Stay On

    The search for the next superintendent of the Springs School has begun. But finding a replacement for Dominic Mucci, who has been the district’s interim, three-day-a-week superintendent this year, may not be necessary should he resubmit his application. That outcome seems all but certain.
    At the Springs School Board meeting on Monday night,  Kathee Burke Gonzalez, the board president, spoke in glowing terms of Mr. Mucci’s tenure. Mr. Mucci, 60,  was brought in back in July, ostensibly as a cost-savings measure. As an active retiree in the New York State Teachers Retirement System, he is working under a one-year waiver granted by the Education Department. His term is to expire on June 30.
    “We’re hoping that Dom is going to apply for the position again,” Ms. Gonzalez said. She explained that Springs can apply for a second, and final, waiver for Mr. Mucci to stay on if the board can prove that his hire is in the “best educational interest of the district.”
    “We’re very happy with the way the model has worked out,” Ms. Gonzalez said. “There’s a lot we’ve accomplished in the last six months: a new Web site, we ratified the teachers’ contract, initiated a parent Google group, and next up, the 2013-14 budget.” A budget workshop is scheduled for Feb. 13 at 6:30 p.m.
    Prior to retiring, Mr. Mucci was the full-time superintendent in Springs from 1999 to 2002. Among other positions, he later oversaw the North Bellmore School District. In 2008, according to state records compiled by the Empire Center for New York State Policy, a project of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, that district paid him a salary of nearly $225,000.
    Nevertheless, although many remain hopeful that Mr. Mucci will carry out another term, the district’s attorney, Neil Block of Ingerman Smith, will coordinate a search to replace him. Applications are due in late February, with the first round of interviews scheduled for March. If necessary, a “meet the candidates” forum for parents, community, and staff will be held in April. 
    Also at the meeting, it was confirmed at the meeting that Eric Casale and Katherine Byrnes would stay on in their roles as principal and assistant principal, respectively. Both are full-time positions. Mr. Casale, reached by telephone, said he was hopeful that Mr. Mucci  would reapply. “It’s been a great learning experience working under him.”
    As for the man himself, Mr. Mucci expressed delight at the possibility of continuing his work. “I would certainly love to come back,” he said, following a 14-hour workday. “There’s really no place I’d rather be.”