At its Dec. 8 meeting, the Port Jefferson school board voted to appoint a new elementary school principal to replace Thomas Meehan, who is set to retire Dec. 31
The board unanimously voted to appoint Amy Laverty as the new principal of Edna Louise Spear Elementary School on a probationary basis effective Jan. 1, 2021 with an annual salary of $138,500. Laverty previously held the position of the assistant principal for Pre-K through eighth grade.
Laverty joined Port Jeff in 2019 from the Northport-East Northport School District. Before that, she was a classroom teacher at various elementary levels in the district’s Ocean Avenue Elementary School. She has a master’s of arts in liberal studies from Stony Brook University and a bachelor’s of arts in child study and students with disabilities from St. Joseph’s College. She holds initial certification in school building leadership and professional certifications in early childhood/childhood and students with disabilities. She also received an educational leadership advanced certificate from LIU Post.
“In addition to her strong instructional and curricular background, Ms. Laverty clearly articulated her vision for the building, outlining specific goals she would like to accomplish,” Superintendent Jessica Schmettan said.
At a previous board meeting, trustees honored Meehan for his decade of service to the elementary school. Schmettan spoke highly of Meehan’s decade of service at the helm of the elementary school, citing his skills and initiatives such as instituting the school’s Grade 5 Safety Patrol Leadership Program and collaborating with the Port Jefferson Fire Department in the annual 9/11 ceremony. She also spoke of his relationships with both the Royal Educational Foundation and the PTA over the years resulting in the raised garden beds for science and nutrition lessons, a gaga ball pit for physical education and socialization, and a book vending machine which encourages reading for education and fun.
Meehan is affectionately known as “Mr. Port Jefferson.” He is a graduate of the Port Jefferson School District, as well as a member of the fire department, is a part of the beach community and regularly hikes around the village. But most importantly, he is lauded for his commitment to the students of the district.
“It’s always about our students,” Schmettan said. “He knows all of our elementary children and their families by name.”
She added that he isn’t afraid to jump into the gaga ball pit, shoot a few hoops, examine a science project, join in on a music lesson, direct a bus, investigate a furnace or read a class a book.
“He truly is a master of all talents,” she said.
Schmettan and the board presented him with a gift and applauded his leadership
“It was an honor for me to be principal,” Meehan said. “It meant so much to me and my family.”