The Levittown Memorial Education Center was filled with honorees Wednesday night, from wrestling champions to valedictorians. But there was one guest of honor the community has been waiting to meet-- Dr. James Grossane.
After months of deliberation, Grossane was chosen to take over as Superintendent of Schools for the Levittown School District beginning July 1, 2011 when longtime Superintendent Dr. Herman Sirois gives up his position.
With the help of consulting agency School Leadership, the Board of Education narrowed down the candidates for superintendent to six and then conducted multiple rounds of interviews, said Board of Education Trustee Ed Powers.
"After a two weekend interview, Dr. Grossane was selected unanimously by the board," Powers said. "I'm sure you'll be very pleased with the decision as you come to meet him over the upcoming weeks, months and years."
"It was an extensive process, and I think it came to a great culmination," he added.
Grossane served the 2010-11 school year as Assistant Superintendent for Student Support Services in the Massapequa School District after moving on from his position as principal of Massapequa High School.
Among the strengths that made Grossane an ideal candidate, Board of Education President Mike Pappas named his knowledge of curriculum for special education, communication skills and "unbound drive to succeed".
"We are in the midst of the second worst economic crisis in history," Pappas said. "This is Levittown's harshest time. But even through the darkest times, rays of light will always break through the clouds."
"Levittown will continue to move forward with Dr. Grossane," he added. "We have all-day kindergarten, a new approach at advanced curriculum, an early morning program... in three short years we've become the most efficient school bus transportation system in the region... Our road ahead is a lot harder and our new superintendent knows this. We believe we have selected the right person to lead us to our new door, our new destiny."
In recognition of the difficult economic times, Grossane agreed to keep his salary the same for the life of his three year contract, Pappas said.
"I am absolutely thrilled to be here and work in Levittown," Grossane told his new community. "I'm really looking forward to the challenge, and I thank you all for the opportunity."
Sirois and Grossane received gifts presented by students from each of the Levittown School District schools in appreciation of the past and hope for a successful future.