Hampton Bays District Superintendent Lars Clemensen and select administrators delivered a “State of the Schools Report” during a Community Summit meeting on the evening of Tuesday, May 10. 

To commence the event, which was attended by approximately fifty community members, Mr. Clemensen gave an overview of the district that focused on the difficult financial environment and the means by which the district has worked to attain the best solution for next year’s budget.

“This year, we are facing an uprecedented challenge, but it’s also an unprecedented opportunity to shine,” Mr. Clemensen said. He also commented on the impending retirement of Hampton Bays Board of Education member and former Board President George Leeman, whom he thanked for his 12 years of service on the Board. “He’s a big reason we have this middle school.”

Elementary School Principal Mark Meyer took the podium to discuss academic programs, the importance of character education, and community involvement. “The thing I’m most proud of is our involvement with the veterans’ organizations, which promotes a respect for the past and the building of relationships within the community,” he said.

Middle School Principal Dennis Schug talked about academic opportunities for student success, community service opportunities, promoting leadership and creating an environment for long-range growth. “We are looking to grow and expand our success. Our academics are at the forefront of what we’re trying to accomplish here,” he said. “We’re here to learn how to be successful in life...to promote lifelong learning.”

High School Principal Christopher Richardt discussed community service, co-curricular programs and academics. “Our job is to create college and career readiness. Ultimately that’s the goal. We have a powerful academic program that addresses the needs of our students,” he said.

Other speakers included: Denise Sullivan, Assistant to the Superintendent for Curriculum; Mark Pagano, Assistant to the Superintendent for Student Services; John Moran, Director of Safety and Transportation; and Drew Walker, Director of Athletics, Health and Physical Education. Ms. Sullivan discussed the continuous improvement programs in place for teachers and administrators. Mr. Pagano focused on the Life Skills Academy program for students. Mr. Moran reported on “the logistics involved in moving 1,500 children every day.” And Mr. Walker shared how athletic programs promote healthy lifestyles and team building, leading to the development of “well-rounded individuals.”

Business Offical Larry Luce addressed the attendees with a brief yet informative presentation on the “lowest budget increase in ten years” and the factors affecting the district’s financial status. He also emphasized the necessity of community support in raising children.

“It takes a community to build a child. I think that’s more true in Hampton Bays than anywhere else,” he said, adding that he was proud of the hamlet members who continue to strive to encourage such well-rounded Hampton Bays students.  “To make the schools what they are, to create that lifelong love of learning; Hampton Bays does a heck of a job!”