By Victoria Espinoza
Cold Spring Harbor schools have a new superintendent.
Robert Fenter, who comes from Oceanside School District as assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and research, was appointed at a meeting on April 14 to take over for current Superintendent Dr. Judith Wilansky starting July 1.
In a statement, Fenter said his past dealings with various district officials made him happy to be coming aboard.
“The Cold Spring Harbor Central School District is one that is well known for its commitment to excellence,” Fenter. “My interactions with the school leaders, teachers, staff, and parents whom I have met thus far have provided me with a glimpse into the very special place that I will officially become part of in just a few short months. I am grateful to the board of education for providing me with the opportunity to serve in the capacity of superintendent of schools as I will work closely with the entire community to continue the tradition of quality programs, all for the benefit of our students.”
Wilansky will be retiring from her post after eight years as superintendent. She was the first female superintendent Cold Spring Harbor appointed, and served for the second-longest term in the district since her 2000 appointment as a central office administrator.
“I have been most impressed by the board’s efforts to ensure a comprehensive and rigorous search process,” she said in a statement. “I congratulate Mr. Fenter on his successful candidacy and am confident that our schools will continue to flourish under his leadership.”
Board of Education President Robert C. Hughes said Fenter was the obvious choice to replace Wilansky, during the board’s months-long search.
“Throughout the interview process, it was clear that Mr. Fenter possesses those qualifications,” he said in a statement. “Mr. Fenter joins us as an extremely well-respected educator.”
Fenter will be the 10th superintendent for the district. He currently serves as president of the Nassau County Assistant Superintendent’s Organization and has served as the New York State Education Department’s liaison for middle level education, students ages 10 to 15, from 2001 through 2009. He is also a past president of the Nassau County Middle Level Principal’s Association and was a state education department representative for the Schools-to-Watch Visitation team.In a previous interview, Wilansky said she would miss the students the most.
“I’ve been here long enough to see children go through their entire school career,” she said. “I was at the middle school’s winter concert recently and it dawned one me that I would miss their graduation, and that’s what I’ll miss the most — seeing these kids graduate and having the opportunity to watch them grow up.”