A Board Member Steps Down

A vacancy on the board at the start of the 2014-15 school year

Daniel Hartnett, a member of the Sag Harbor School Board, announced his resignation Monday night, leaving a vacancy on the board at the start of the 2014-15 school year.

Mr. Hartnett said by phone Tuesday that the board was not surprised, as he had told them he was selling his house in Bay Point. With the housing inventory as low as it is in the school district during the summer rental season, he had to sign a lease in Springs, he said.

Mr. Hartnett said he had hoped to remain in the district at least through the summer. “I listed it in March. The sale moved extremely quickly — a lot more quickly than I ever thought it would.” His eldest son, who is in the Navy, didn’t even have a chance to return to his childhood home one last night.

“It was hard on a lot of levels,” Mr. Hartnett said. “We are at a tender level with the school board and the school district,” he said, referring to the transition taking place with the newly hired superintendent, Katy Graves. “I was looking forward to not just transitioning her, but kind of working with her to take the district to the next level.”

Mr. Hartnett had just finished the first year of a three-year term after rejoining the board following a two-year absence. He had served two three-year terms from 2005 to 2011. Two of his sons graduated from Pierson High School, and his youngest son, who lives with his mother in Sag Harbor Village, will be in the 11th grade this year.

Mr. Hartnett will continue to work as a bilingual school social worker this fall, assigned to the East Hampton Middle School.

The board has three choices: Members can appoint someone to fill the vacancy immediately, they can hold a special election, or they can wait to fill the position in the election in May 2015.

Sandi Kruel, who was sworn in for another term on the school board along with Theresa Samot, the school board president, and a newcomer, Diana Kolhoff, said it was very sad to see Mr. Hartnett go. “He brought immense knowledge from an educator side, and had a passion for children that was amazing,” she said.

“He was always professional and collaborative, with the students at the center of all decisions,” Ms. Samot said. “The board will be deciding the next steps regarding the vacant seat with the guidance of our attorney.”