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Hicksville Welcomes Dr. Carl Bonuso

Some students returning to school the first day might see a new face on the bus: Hicksville’s new interim superintendent Dr. Carl Bonuso.

“Every year on the first day of school I ride one of the buses. To see the face of a kindergartener on that first ride just reminds you of why you’re in the field,” he says.

Bonuso began his term Tuesday, Aug. 19 and comes to the district after serving two years as interim superintendent in the Sag Harbor School District. Prior to that, he retired from the Wantagh School District where he spent 26 years, 10 of which were as superintendent.

He is slated to be at Hicksville until June 30, 2015 as the Board of Education searches for a permanent replacement. For the next 10 months, Bonuso is hoping to help strengthen the relationships within the district.

“The best schools are the ones with the best relationships and the ones that forge the most effective partnerships. We have a wonderful student body and wonderful staff members. My hope is to support what happens in the classroom by making sure the staff not only gets the proper materials and training, but also community opportunities,” says Bonuso.

And he wants to make sure those opportunities also extend outside of school staff.

“I want to make sure parents and community members have opportunities to speak to the administration and superintendent, and to attend workshops and educational programs,” says Bonuso.

In that vein, Bonuso is carrying over his “Sups On” series. At these small, informal meetings, parents will be able to gather around a table, enjoy some soup and engage in some casual relevant conversation with the superintendent.

“I want to create as many opportunities as possible for students, staff, parents and community members to have important and casual conversations about what we do,” says Bonuso. “I want to reach out to as many members of the school family as possible. I hope to be very visible and accessible.”

The Hicksville Board of Education appointed Bonuso the position on Monday, Aug. 18.

“He had the perfect mix of professional experience and personal qualities we felt were needed for the transition period,” says board president Phil Heckler.

The highly experienced educator is well-recognized and is the recipient of Hofstra University’s PDK “Educator of the Year” award and the “Excellence in Educational Leadership Award” (given annually by the University Council of Educational Administrators to the top 25 educators in the nation for their work in preparing aspiring school leaders). In his over 40 year career, he has also served as adjunct professor at Dowling College and SUNY Stony Brook.

Though he just started at Hicksville, he said he’s excited to be here.

“I am so proud and privileged to be joining this school family. The people here have been so gracious and I feel like it’s home already,” says Bonuso.