Dr. Lorna R. Lewis admits it won't be easy to lead the Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District into a new era:
“This is a trying time for all Long Island school districts as we face new standards, such as working within the tax levy caps and teacher evaluations," said Dr. Lewis, who was by the school board on Monday night to be Plainview's next superintendent.
But she's ready:
"I feel like the luckiest person in the world to join another top-rate school district where excellence is the standard." she said after the vote Monday night. "This is a place where the children lie at the heart of the community."
Lewis, 57, has spent the last five years as superintendent of the East Williston Union Free School District. She is taking over for Gerard W. Dempsey, Plainview's longtime schools chief, who is retiring at the end of the school year. Lewis will begin her tenure in August. Her annual salary will be $265,000, school officials said.
"In Dr. Lewis you have chosen an outstanding educator, someone who I am confident will move the district forward," said Dempsey. "The district is in good hands."
The district conducted an executive search to find Dempsey's replacement that included some public participation in the process. Many board members echoed Dempsey's words in welcoming Dr. Lewis to the community.
"I am ready for the challenge and eagerly look forward to working with (the board, administration teachers and community to successfully move our district toward the next era of outstanding academic accomplishments,” she said.
The career educator is considered an expert in curriculum. She received her B.S. in physics from Fordham University and earned three Masters Degrees before completing her Ed.D in science education from Teachers College at Columbia University.
She taught math and physics beforing taking on a variety of administrative jobs including science chair in the Rockville Center UFSD, science director in the Uniondale UFSD and director of curriculum and assessment, and deputy superintendent in the Three Village Central School District.
Dr. Lewis has conducted curriculum audits in several states. She has served as a keynote speaker at many major events for school administrators and has presented workshops at BOCES and local universities. Dr. Lewis a member of the executive board of the New York State Council of School Superintendents, where she co-chairs the curriculum committee.