After having the interim tag attached to him for five months, the Brewster Board of Education officially named Timothy Conway the new Superintendent of Schools of the district.
During a May 27 meeting, the board unanimously appointed Conway the permanent superintendent, after he served on an interim basis following the January retirement of former head of the district Dr. Jane Sandbank. Conway has been with Brewster schools for the past ten years, working in the district office. Conway stated during the meeting, “I’m really the lucky one.”
“My life as interim superintendent has been a wonderful experience. Brewster is a great district with some of the finest educators and support staff found anywhere,” Conway said in a press release following his appointment. “Student success is our number one priority and I now look forward to continuing that work in the years ahead.”
Board president Dr. Stephen Jambor called the search process “vigorous” and said the board felt “validated” when it was determined Conway, an in-house candidate was the best selection to lead the district. In an interview, Jambor was quick to point out cronyism was not involved, and said the district’s search firm brought in 29 initial applicants for the job.
“I’m very proud of the fact that of that as a result of this process, we ended up with this candidate,” Jambor said. “But there was nothing guaranteed and he had to go thought all those steps and he did and it kind of validates things for us.”
“We had a gem right here in house,” Jambor added.
Jambor said the “balance” Conway brings to the board makes him the right choice for the job. He said during his time with Brewster, Conway has saved the school system millions of the dollars. Conway was the primary administrator who constructed the budget each year. Jambor also pointed out he’s seen Conway grow during his time in Brewster.
Jambor said over the past few years, Conway has gained the experience needed to also become an instructional leader, rather than just focusing on the finances.
When reached last week, former superintendent Sandbank said she thinks the board made the right choice selecting Conway.
“He’s very committed to Brewster,” she said of Conway. “I think he will continue to make sure Brewster is always an excellent school district.”
Conway is beginning to conduct interviews and seek out staff members from within the district to continue to know the inner workings of the district and community, Jambor said.
Even though Jambor has known Conway for several years and even referred to him as a friend during the board meeting, Jambor said the administration and board still have to get used to working together to move the district forward. A retreat in which the New York State School Board Association is going to lead is planned for the summer for the board and Conway.
Conway came to the Brewster school system in 2004 after 28 years of experience in financial management, serving 17 years in the Middletown school district
The appointment of Conway is just the latest in a long line of new superintendent for school districts in Putnam County. The Haldane school district named Dr. Diana Bowers as the new district leader, and the Garrison school district selected Laura Mitchell as the new superintended.
The Mahopac school district had their new superintendent, John Kopicki, until he informed the district two weeks ago he’s not taking the job.
As for the Brewster community, they have their man and Jambor couldn’t be happier.
“It’s a great feeling, not just that it’s finished, but I think we did it right,” Jambor said. “That’s a very satisfying feeling.”