Wainscott Seeks New Superintendent

The Wainscott School will be "fine" until it finds a new part-time superintendent, the school board president, David Eagan, said this week. Christine Sampson

A search has begun for a part-time superintendent for the Wainscott School District after the resignation, effective yesterday, of Stuart Rachlin, who has been in the position for six years.

David Eagan, the president of the school board, said yesterday that the board had accepted Dr. Rachlin’s resignation at its Feb. 15 meeting. Dr. Rachlin offered no reason for his departure in his letter of resignation, Mr. Eagan said, declining to comment further. “We don’t discuss the specifics of personnel matters,” he said.

Dr. Rachlin, who lives in Hauppauge, offered a different take. He said he was informed by Mr. Eagan before the January board meeting that his contract would not be renewed for the 2017-18 school year, "despite my not having received a negative evaluation and my bringing noteworthy programs and increased grant funding to the district," he said by email on Wednesday. 

He pointed to an additional $18,000 in federal funding through the Rural Schools program, an additional $60,000 in federal funding for special education, and an additional $50,000 in funding for non-English speakers. One-third of the student body learn English as a second language, and Dr. Rachlin, who speaks Spanish fluently, said he had served as a liaison to Latino families. 

He said he was saddened to leave the Wainscott community. "Momentarily, I will retire for the second time; however, due to my dedication to children and their education, I know that I will soon use my skills and knowledge in another district before long that requires these skills," he said. 

“We’re fine. The school’s in good hands,” Mr. Eagan said. He said the small school, which educates students through the third grade, is in a “unique situation in the sense that our part-time superintendent is only there six hours a week.” The day-to-day operations fall to the staff, including two full-time teachers and district clerk. “The board is completely comfortable that that won’t change at all. . . . The people who deliver the services are there everyday.”

Mr. Rachlin said he worked there three and a half to four hours twice a week. 

The district has advertised the opening with the Eastern Suffolk Board of Education, with the salary at around $54,000, Mr. Eagan said. The principal job of the superintendent, he said, is to ensure compliance with state reporting requirements, and Mr. Eagan said the district is up to date in that regard.

While he is hopeful the district can hire a replacement by the end of the school year, he also said the board could wait longer for the right candidate. “This is not a crisis situation,” he said.

This is an updated version of an article that appeared in print on March 2. Correction: Stuart Rachlin was the superintendent of the Wainscott School for six years, not five as originally reported. There are also two full-time teachers, not one.