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Bennardo Introduced in S. Huntington

Residents meet the incoming school superintendent Saturday.

The South Huntington Union Free School District introduced incoming superintendent Dr. David Bennardo at a welcoming ceremony Saturday.

Speaking before residents, colleagues and family at , Bennardo said there is no place he would rather be than in South Huntington. He promised honesty, transparency, integrity and caring about kids while facing the challenges ahead.

"People here know that their schools are their resource and their kids are the greatest asset in the world," said Bennardo, the principal at Harborfields High School for the past nine years.

Bennardo said from afar he has witnessed trademarks of the South Huntington school district including a love of rich history and schools, and a willingness to come together regardless of the issue to make sure the right things happen for kids.

After what he called an "intricate process," Bennardo said he is ready to join a "dynamite" Board of Education. 

Bennardo recognized and thanked him for his service to the community and for his help during the ongoing transition.

"His career is an example of a career and a life well spent and I thank him for that and for the time he's given public education and the time he has given me over the past few weeks," said Bennardo.

Entering his twenty-fifth year in public education, Bennardo said he worked in the late 80s and 90s in Sewanhaka and New Hyde Park school districts in various positions including teacher, drama set designer, football coach, adviser, drivers education instructor, lacrosse coach and assistant principal. 

"I promise this will be the first and last time I talk about my experiences or my life or my background and not our schools, our family or our kids," said Bennardo.

With family members seated in the audience, the married father of three thanked them for their support. "Together we work as a team and this is my new passion and they want to be a part of it."

In attendance for the event in the school cafeteria, South Huntington PTA Council President Laura Carey said Bennardo seems like he will bring a "lot of life" into the community.

"He really seems to want to get to know us and we really want to get to know him," said Carey. "We have some really difficult times ahead and I think he can be a really good leader for us."

Jim Kaden, president of the South Huntington school board, said it was a "pretty involved process" but he thinks they "got the right guy." 

"Everyone was happy where we were and we are looking to move forward with a few different things," said Kaden.

Bennardo will officially begin as superintendent in South Huntington July 1.

B. Ware June 11, 2012 at 01:07 PM
An "intricate process," Bennardo calls it? Funny as the Board of Education was split for quite some time until one board member broke the tie. I am sure he would say, “He is ready to join a "dynamite" Board of Education.” Remember he now owes that board member quite a bit. Bennardo went on to say about his family, “Together we work as a team and this is my new passion and they want to be a part of it." Will he be moving them to South Huntington like he moved directly behind Harborfields HS when his cocky attitude thought he was the next Superintendent there? But the people there knew better.
B. Ware June 11, 2012 at 01:08 PM
There are many things to take into consideration when ascertaining an educator’s ability and whether or not he can do the job his wide eyes have taken on. Consider this; if parents love him so much, is it because he gives them anything and everything they want or because he makes the tough decisions that will ultimately shape our youth? What would his Superintendent say about him and his CHARACTER? Will he put the time in to shape teachers and students for success or will he have exams rescored to ensure higher grades? Will he be open to healthy discussion that might differ from his opinion or will he simply bully professionals out of their jobs? Is there a reason South Huntington went with a principal for the position and not an Assistant Superintendent (from anywhere) with the depth of knowledge of that critical middle step? Did South Huntington settle for a candidate that was cheap, without character and that will not stand up to the board when he thinks it is right? The answers to these questions are purely yours. I simply ask that you think and watch more than a year to see what we are really getting.
D. Burns June 11, 2012 at 03:11 PM
B. Ware - Right now....you have put your foot in your mouth.... In a year, it will be the rest of your body up to your neck. You have NO IDEA what Harborfields HS is losing for YOUR district. Be very grateful.
RPL928 June 11, 2012 at 03:25 PM
David Bennardo is a great educator and a even greater man...I am proud as hell to say he was my principal. We’re going to miss him in the HF community. He truly brought a family atmosphere to the HF school district. Anyone who thinks otherwise doesn't know what they’re talking about. He leaves HF in better shape than when he came in, and that’s all you can ask for.
John Harvey June 15, 2012 at 03:05 AM
B. Ware - What a terrible person you must be to write such bitter vitriol about a man like Dr. Bennardo. We will miss him here in Harborfields and he leaves behind a community that loves and respects him, and he has earned that love and respect. I do not know if he will move to South Huntington, but I admit the thought of moving there crossed my mind when I read he took the job. I wish him well and Harborfields loss is most certainly South Huntington's gain.

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