The Putnam Examiner

Brewster Superintendent Set to Resign From District in January

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9-17 PUT sandbank resignsAfter almost eight years with the same district, Brewster Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jane Sandback is stepping aside.

In a letter to the community last Wednesday, Sandback said it is with “mixed emotions” that she intends to resign from her position for the purpose of retirement, effective Jan 2, 2014.

“It has been a wonderful seven and a half years and the Brewster community in many ways has become my second family,” Sandbank stated in the letter.

Hired back in 2006, Sandbank references multiple accomplishments the school has achieved including a renovated middle school, a constructed multi-purpose field and the inception of full-day kindergarten.

Additionally, Sandbank mentioned the high school exchange program in China, that have been going on for six years, as well as a vast array of advanced placement courses, BOCES courses, elective courses, and programs students could select.

Sandbank came to Brewster from Rockland County after serving as Deputy Superintendent of Schools for the South Orangetown Central School District. Overall, Sandbank, who got her doctorate from Columbia University Teachers College, had more than 25 years of experience in New York City, Westchester County, and Rockland education before her move to Putnam County.

“I think whenever you make the kind of life-altering decision to retire it’s a large one,” Sandbank said in an interview. “The difficult part is just leaving people whom I’ve worked with and become so close to.”

During her time with Brewster, Sandbank ran into a rough patch last budget season, which she said was her most difficult one in her tenure at Brewster. The district was facing massive cuts across the board that resulted in dozens of community members flooding board of education meetings in hopes of finding a remedy.

Eventually, cuts were minimized after the district’s teacher union agreed to a new contract and more state aid was provided than first planned.

Sandbank said with the news so recent, the board will have to discuss the next steps and the transition plan to put in place, “and I have total confidence that will be accomplished quickly and smoothly.”

Sandbank said the district has “moved light years”, something she expects to continue to see. She said now is the time to push forward but process the change the school system has seen, including the New York State standardized tests that were put in place recently.

“I think there’s more than enough to keep people growing and busy,” Sandbank said. “And keep Brewster in the forefront of educational innovation.”

While she is retiring mid-school year, Sandbank said that timing isn’t uncommon because a superintendent’s job runs 12 months of the year.

Sandbank concluded the letter, “I know that the students in the Brewster Central School District will flourish and continue to be successful and well prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve this fine community.”

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