Written by Manhasset Press Staff Wednesday, 11 September 2013 00:00
This past July, the Manhasset school community experienced a terrible loss with the passing of Jodi Shapiro. “Jodi had a tremendous passion for her job which was reflected in her tireless commitment to the special education children in both elementary schools.” said Superintendent of Schools Charles Cardillo. With a heavy heart, the special education department began the search for her successor.
At the regularly scheduled August 29 meeting, the Manhasset Board of Education approved the appointment of Gary LaFemina as the Assistant Director of Committee of Pre-School Education and Elementary Special Education. As Assistant
Director, LaFemina will be integrally involved in the day-to-day responsibilities of the department, specifically within the elementary schools. His responsibilities will include chairing CSE and section 504 committee meetings, conducting formal teacher observations and evaluations, and overseeing the services provided to Manhasset students in the non-public schools located within the district.
LaFemina’s first day will be Monday, September 23. Currently he is the principal/program director of Westbrook Preparatory School, New York State’s first co-ed residential school for middle and high school students with high-functioning autism. Prior to working at Westbrook Prep, LaFemina and his family relocated to Sarasota, Florida, where he was the staff developer and county-wide trainer/coach at Positive Behavioral Supports for Sarasota County Schools.
LaFemina’s previous experience includes eighteen years in the Cold Spring Harbor Central School District, where he was principal of Lloyd Harbor Elementary School for nine years following nine years as a special education teacher. Before working in Cold Spring Harbor, he was a special education teacher in the Lake Grove School, Connetquot High School in Bohemia, and in the Beach Street Junior High School in West Islip.
Cardillo commented, “We are fortunate we were able to hire Gary LaFemina, who has tremendous credentials, with many years of leadership in special education.” The Manhasset school community looks forward to working with LaFemina and the Manhasset Public Schools.