New Part-Timer Announced

Deborah Haab, the new part-time Wainscott School superintendent, called the post a “once in a lifetime opportunity.” Highland Central School District

Deborah A. Haab, the outgoing superintendent of the Highland Central School District in Ulster County, N.Y., has been appointed the new part-time superintendent of the Wainscott Common School District. She will replace Stuart Rachlin, who resigned from the position in January after serving in that role for five years.

Ms. Haab has worked in the Highland Central School District since 2009. Prior to that she was the superintendent of Altmar-Parish-Williamstown School District, near Syracuse. Between 2001 and 2005, she was the business administrator at the Bridgehampton School District, and before that she worked for many years in Hampton Bays as an assistant superintendent and business administrator.

Earlier this week, Ms. Haab announced her retirement from full-time service, effective Sept. 8. In a press release, Alan Barone, the president of the Highland School Board, praised Ms. Haab’s strong leadership and said she would be missed. Mr. Barone noted that under Ms. Haab’s guidance, the district overcame financial obstacles and is currently in very good fiscal standing, with a healthy fund balance, capital reserve, and negotiated contracts in place.  “And we still have the smallest school budget in Ulster County,” he said.

Ms. Haab said by phone that her plan had been to retire after the 2018-19 school year but she had often wondered if she was really ready to leave the world of education. “I truly do love my work and I realized I’m not ready to give it up.” She called the opening at the Wainscott School a “unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that was just too good to turn down.” She will be leaving a school district of approximately 1,800 students and joining one with 22 students in kindergarten through third grade.

By becoming Wainscott’s part-time superintendent, Ms. Haab said she will accomplish three goals: Continue to work with children for as long as possible, ease into retirement more gradually, and move back to her house in Springs, which she and her husband, Glen Haab, bought about 40 years ago. Her husband is a retired charter boat captain who worked in Montauk for several years when Ms. Haab was employed in Bridgehampton and Hampton Bays. The couple raised two daughters in Springs; both graduated from East Hampton High School and followed careers in education.

A press release from David Eagan, the Wainscott School Board president, stated that the new superintendent’s start date has not been finalized although Ms. Haab confirmed that she will officially start shortly after the beginning of the new school year and will be present at the school over the summer. Until then, Mr. Eagan said, Wainscott will continue working with the Eastern Suffolk Board of Cooperative Educational Services for interim superintendent services. Ms. Haab said that she and her husband are very much looking forward to returning to Springs as full-time residents.