South Huntington Names New Superintendent

Greenlawn resident David P. Bennardo to replace Thomas Shea in July.

After a lenghty search process, the South Huntington Board of Education announced Saturday the hiring of David P. Bennardo as the new superintendent of schools for the South Huntington Union Free School District.

Bennardo, who will take over July 1 from outgoing Superintendent Thomas Shea, comes to South Huntington from the Harborfields School District, where he has served as principal of Harborfields High School for the past 9 years, according to a district press release sent Saturday evening.

A public school educator for 24 years, serving as a teacher, coach, advisor, department chairperson, assistant principal and principal, Bennardo began his career in the Bethpage School District, according to the SHUFSD. 

A reception will be held to officially welcome Bennardo to the community on June 9, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Walt Whitman South cafeteria. The district said the event is open to the South Huntington community. 

Bernardo is a Greenlawn resident where he lives with his wife and children who attend Harborfields schools.  

After 42 years as a teacher and administrator during his career, he was retiring. He has served 14 years in the South Huntington School District.

Jacqueline Harris, the current superintendent of student services in South Huntington, was for the job last month.

Big_E June 03, 2012 at 02:07 AM
Hopefully, considering that Bernardo made "only" $185,230 last year they did not hire him for what Dr Shea was making (about double that figure).
IJCB June 03, 2012 at 02:44 AM
What's the matter with you? Get your hands out of everyone's pocket. You'll get more than your money's worth from this gentleman.
diane peterson June 03, 2012 at 02:51 AM
SHUFSD finally got something right...going outside the district for someone new. We need a change. Hopefully Mr. Bennardo will be the start of a new beginning in South Huntington.
kath June 03, 2012 at 05:32 AM
He looks like a regular guy!
Bill L. June 03, 2012 at 10:08 AM
Wow. Is it me or is the sun shining brighter today?
Concerned Citizen June 03, 2012 at 10:24 AM
From High School Principal to School Superintendent... Good luck! These are very different jobs and Mr. Bernnado will have his plate overflowing... He will need a lot of support from the community, the Board, and the teachers' union if he is to succeed in the short term.
Anthony_LI June 03, 2012 at 11:31 AM
Cuomo wants to cap at $199K. The demands for a super have become ridiculous, run the school system and let the school board control the money...simple...
AT June 03, 2012 at 01:12 PM
I have to agree with you and I am very concerned and suspicious that someone(s) may try to use this principal as a puppet, perhaps that's why the totally competent Ms. Harris was passed over.
Anthony_LI June 03, 2012 at 01:16 PM
AT- it ain't what you know, it's who you know!!
Liz webb June 03, 2012 at 01:45 PM
As a parent of a Harborfields student, south Huntington is getting the best and the absolute brightest in Dr. Bennardo. We are so sad to lose him, he has done Great things with Harborfields, he is such a kind, approachable person with a genuine concern for all students. S. Huntington hit the jackpot!
Carolyn Nowicki June 03, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Both of my daughters graduated from Harborfields H.S.--one in 2008; and the other, in 2011. Dr. Bennardo somehow gets to know every parent and student alike. He's a no-nonsense kind of guy, and I'm so happy that my daughters were fortunate enough to graduate before he left HF. SHUFSD, you are very lucky to have him!
bob June 03, 2012 at 10:15 PM
you idiots keep paying these outrages salaries... and you will see in 10 ten years your kids will nor be able to afford to live on long island wake up and smell the foul oder coming from the supers and teachers union....thats right i said union..remember everyone is a union free school district...bull$&^^..... back up your familes and move out before its to late
Janet June 03, 2012 at 11:12 PM
From what I heard Dr. Bennardo is wonderful and parents of Harborfields are very upset to be losing him as their principal much the way we did about Mr. Polansky...Looks like our BOE did get it right. Things are looking up....
Jeanne Agnello June 03, 2012 at 11:21 PM
Losing Dr. Bennardo is a huge blow to Harborfields, but we all wish him well. He was an amazing principal, well loved by all. South Huntington is the luckiest district around!
JSC June 04, 2012 at 11:15 AM
A "union-free school district" has NOTHING to do with teacher's unions! It simply means that the district does not consist of joined districts, it's not a union of districts, it's one district.
Concerned SHParent June 04, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Congratulations to Dr Bennardo, he is as close to Mr P as we were going to get. Thanks to Dr Shea for all his years of dedicated service to our community and to those folks who threw their hat in the ring for the job. I firmly believe an "outsider" with drive and passion and without preconceived notions was the right choice in our case. Not that Jackie Harris was not qualified but the our district needed fresh blood. I personally am looking forward to benchmarking where we are today and excited to see where we will be a couple of years from now. Best of luck to Dr Shea on his retirement and Dr Bennardo on his new assignment.
Chris P. June 04, 2012 at 07:15 PM
I have had the chance to work for several years for Dave Bennardo while I worked as a teacher in Harborfields. I can tell you that Dave is no puppet, and I am delighted that he was chosen for this position. I can't think of a more deserving candidate and one that I am thrilled will be in charge of my children's education for years to come. Dave is tough but fair, a charismatic leader, and someone who truly connected with his students. He turned Harborfields High School around and in the process it became a top-ranked HS in Suffolk County, according to US News and World Report. A lot of that success I attribute to Dave's leadership.
Judy June 05, 2012 at 12:52 AM
Glad to see new leadership and excited to hear that he's effective and respected. We need to support him and help him move our schools in the right direction.


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