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New Challenges Led Annunziato to Smithtown Schools

Anthony Annunziato says tackling a larger district is a challenge he is prepared for and excited to do.

The Smithtown Central School District has a new superintendent, and while walking into issues that face the district seems like a daunting task, it is something Anthony Annunziato is looking forward to.

These new challenges are what Annunziato said led him to make the move to Smithtown from the Bayport-Blue Point school district.

"In my career I look for challenges. Bayport was a great challenge, I love it there, I didn't leave because I wasn't happy," he said. "At some point in your career it's time for change, it's time for a new challenge. Smithtown was the only place I applied to, I wanted to come to a bigger district, it has a great reputation."

Annunziato, a self-proclaimed perennial optimist, said the first step in being the best superintendent for Smithtown he could be is to become another member of the district.

"I think the most important thing is to immerse myself in the culture of Smithtown," he said.

, a number that is 6.8 percent more than the $242,550 he makes at Bayport-Blue Point, and roughly $40,000 more than the $219,555 Ehmann takes home, according to an April Newsday report [subscription required]. 

One challenge Annunziato is prepared to take on is how to communicate with not only the district staff but the parents of the community. 

"I think that school districts are basically the same, but how do you operate a larger district? How do you operate communicate?" he said. "I think that's one of the things that led me to come to Smithtown is the challenge of running a bigger school district, trying to make a difference in a bigger school district."

Another issue Annunziato said he is prepared to take on is something often criticized by Board of Education meeting attendees – transparency.

"Transparency is in many ways harder than not being transparent," he said. "I would rather make an arguement from the standpoint that I have been completely transparent whether you agree with it or not."

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George July 18, 2012 at 11:42 AM
I hope he earns the additional money he is getting paid by making measurable and meaningful improvements in the district, otherwise what's the point?
Angelina July 20, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Okay, lets be completely transparent. Anthony Annunziato salary is as follows: Salary 259,000 Benefits 58,701 Other 12,052 Total salary 329,753 New York State School Administrator Salary Disclosure can be found at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/mgtserv/admincomp/#Data The administrators at Smithtown are paid a little over five million. This is where the cuts should be made not with the kids.
Sticks60 July 20, 2012 at 07:14 PM
With all three union contracts passing with barely five minutes of total discussion over three board meetings anything change in process would be more transparent. Right now we have cast in stone for the next three years the cost for both each member of the STA and the administratiion. As we have done for the past year our only option is cutting the number of people working to balance the budget. What else can a superentendent do? He can not remove anyone one for not doing their job. He can not change any work rules to make the district more effectent. The question then becomes what major changes can he make in delivering the best education possible to our students?
Heard Around Town July 21, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Comparing to neighboring districts, Smithtown has the lowest adminstrator cost per pupil and the fewest number of adminstrators. It always easy to target central office since they are the highest paid for the cuts. With the APPR evaluation required to be in place by January, adminstrators are here to stay. Adminstrators are required to perform principal observations and evaluations. Doubtful you will see any cuts at the adminstrator level.
HeyJoe August 03, 2012 at 04:55 AM
the challenge he came here for was to make as much money as he can. at a time of cuts in programs and school closings this raise in pay and benefits for the superintendant reeks of arrogance.

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