The Amagansett School Board has appointed Thomas Lamorgese, formerly a principal of the East Hampton Middle School, to serve as interim principal following the sudden resignation of Robert Brisbane on May 30. The board voted to appoint Mr. Lamorgese, on the recommendation of Eleanor Tritt, the district’s superintendent, at its meeting on Tuesday. The appointment was retroactive to Monday.
Mr. Lamorgese holds permanent certifications in school district administration and mathematics, chemistry, physics, Russian, and biology and general science for grades 7 to 12.
The board held its meeting in the school gym, where Marian Greene, a special education teacher, was honored for 25 years of dedicated service, and sixth-grade students were also recognized.
“We’re honored to be presenting our sixth grade with medals from veterans,” Ms. Tritt said. The American Legion, she said, awards students “who best display qualities of Americanism and citizenship. Americanism can be defined as love for America, pride in country and flag, and love for history.”
Olivia Davis was given the Citizenship award, Mimi Fowkes the Americanism Award, Tiana Treadwell the Auxiliary Citizenship Award, and Michael Pratt the Auxiliary Americanism Award.
The Everit Albert Herter post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in East Hampton also honored sixth graders. Devon Merritt was recognized with the V.F.W.’s Outstanding Student Leadership Award, and Lily Morgan was given the Scholastic Achievement Award. Kathy Solomon, the third-grade teacher, presented the Lloyd N. Peak Award to Maya Poblete.
While supportive of the board and administration, some parents in attendance described a “confusing” school year and questioned the prevalence of substitute teachers and the abrupt departure of Mr. Brisbane, whom several have described as popular and respected by parents and their children.
“It seems like there’s this revolving door, specifically in the gymnasium,” said Jennifer Brew, a parent. “What’s happening with the staff, and are they happy?”
“We’re not at liberty to discuss personnel in board meetings,” said Victoria Smudzinski, the board’s president.
Sometimes, Ms. Tritt said, “we need to call on our staff to perform other responsibilities which we must comply with. It’s the superintendent’s responsibility to assign staff as necessary to accomplish those responsibilities.” With a new principal, she said, the administration hopes to establish a more consistent routine.
Charlotte Sasso, a parent liaison who serves on a shared decision-making committee at the school, praised the board for its commitment and said that it has parents’ wholehearted support. “It was just a confusing year,” she said. “There’s been chatter. It’s best to be open and honest and discuss these things. . . . Any input that you need, we’re here to give it.”
“We are a little district,” said Mary Lownes, a board member. “A lot of our staff do a lot of different things. We don’t have a huge back office. . . . We’re doing the best we can with the situations presented to us.”