The Putnam Examiner

Brewster School Board Taps New School Chief

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Hiring from within the district, the Brewster Board of Education selected Dr. Valerie Henning-Piedmonte to lead the Brewster school system after it officially appointed her superintendent of schools on July 14.

During a special board meeting held at 8 a.m., the school board unanimously picked Henning-Piedmonte as the next superintendent of schools starting on August 1. Henning is set to replace current school chief Dr. Tim Conway who is retiring and last day is July 31.

Henning-Piedmonte’s contract runs until July 31, 2019 and her base pay for next year is $230,000.

In an interview, Henning said she was “flattered and humbled” that the school board considered her capable enough to lead the district after almost serving three years with Brewster as an administrator. She noted choosing a school chief is the most important decision any board makes in a school district.

“It just symbolized to me that they have great faith in my ability to support their vision for the district,” Henning-Piedmonte said. “And that I’ve been able to serve in a district that I’ve grown very fond of.”

Henning-Piedmonte originally was hired in 2013, after she came from the Clarkstown school system in Rockland County where she worked for seven years as an instruction and professional development administrator. In Brewster, she started as assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction, and assessment before being promoted to deputy superintendent.

She was drawn to Brewster because it was very similar to the community she grew up in. Growing up in a small town, Henning-Piedmonte said she felt at home in the “value driven mindset of the community of family and tradition and wanting the next generation to do better than the last generation.”

Conway announced earlier this year that he was set to retire from the district in hopes of spending more time with his family and enjoying more free time. He too, was promoted to school chief from business administrator after former superintendent Jane Sandbank retired.

Since Conway’s announcement, the board has moved forward quickly to find a new superintendent. Forums were held in which community members expressed what they wanted in a school leader and a search committee was also put together.

Henning-Piedmonte said being part of the district for the last few years, the board and administration has spent much time looking at opportunities to ensure students are successful in this “century and beyond.” Wherever students land, Henning-Piedmonte said the district wants to ensure the school system taught them the different skills needed for college and the work force.

“They really saw me as someone capable of developing the work that’s to come to support the furtherance of those goals,” Henning-Piedmonte said.



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