Amidst a warm welcome, complete with music and song, Thomas P. Dolan was appointed superintendent of the Great Neck Public Schools at the Board of Education's March 16 public action meeting. Dr. Dolan, currently superintendent of the Franklin Square School District, will take over in Great Neck as of July 1, 2009. He will replace superintendent Ronald Friedman, who is retiring at the end of this school year.
Dr. Thomas P. Dolan (l.) greets his new school district, as current Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ronald Friedman (r.) applauds the new appointment.
Board of Education President Barbara Berkowitz and the board spent long days, weekends and evenings on a national search, attracting candidates "from as far away as Alaska and California and as close as Nassau County ..." Ms. Berkowitz said that "The more we met with Dr. Dolan, the more we were impressed with his philosophies and views of kids and education." By Feb. 22, the school board knew that their search was over.
Ms. Berkowitz went on to say that "Dr. Dolan will be encountering many challenges in this position, but I know I speak for everyone here when I say that we pledge to support Dr. Dolan and offer any assistance we can as he undertakes this formidable position." In addition, Dr. Friedman will be working with Dr. Dolan over the next few months to ensure "as seamless a transition as possible." To that end, the school board has also contracted with Dr. Friedman for five additional work days, July 1 through July 8, to further assist in the transition.
Addressing his new school district, Dr. Dolan thanked the board of education for the "honor" of becoming the new superintendent, and he spoke of the support of the Great Neck community. Dr. Dolan termed the school board "diligent and compassionate," and said that he will become a "better superintendent" with their support.
Dr. Dolan then thanked the student journalist who had conducted an interview and had asked a wonderful question --- "Why Great Neck?" Dr. Dolan explained how he had always looked at how well Great Neck students were served, and how "success (for students and schools) is always measured against Great Neck."
As a candidate for this position, Dr. Dolan said that he witnessed how well the school board represents the community "to meet the needs of all of the students." He went on to express his delight in the way "... this community supports education ... in ways not seen in many districts."
Dr. Dolan appeared proud to state that Great Neck schools and Great Neck students "compete and excel in every venue available." He emphasized the "individuality of the schools," and noted that many in this school district say that working in the Great Neck Public Schools is their "dream job."
Dr. Dolan then stated that it is his intention to see that Great Neck "continues to be served well."
A comprehensive article on Dr. Dolan will be featured in the next issue of the Great Neck Record.