Written by Joe Scotchie Friday, 10 July 2009 00:00
Dr. Dan Brenner joined Roslyn Public Schools in 2005 as assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. As it turned out, that job would be a stepping-stone to the biggest position in the school district: That of superintendent.
The retirement of Dr. John A. Richman as superintendent came as a surprise to most residents of the school district. Dr. Brenner would only say that the turn of events “happened very quickly,” adding that he was “honored that the board of education would think of me in this way.”
And so, Dr. Brenner is not on the job as superintendent of a school district similar to the Great Neck district, where he worked for 17 years.
“I’m a curriculum person at heart,” Dr. Brenner told The Roslyn News. “My eyes will be on the educational component of the job.”
Dr. Brenner added that his office is “blessed with a leadership team that will keep us headed on the right track in all areas.” Dr. Brenner also said that from his 17 years in Great Neck and the four years in Roslyn, the main lesson he has learned is to meet community standards.
“We must never lose sight that we must deliver excellence in a community that demands excellence,” adding that delivering such instruction must extend to all the students in the district.
During his four years as assistant superintendent for curriculum in Roslyn, Dr. Brenner has overseen the implementation of numerous educational initiatives, including programs in elementary literacy, expansion of secondary foreign language offerings, and enhancements in the middle school math program. He also led efforts to increase opportunities for professional development and to introduce differentiated instruction at all levels, including The Hilltop Academy.
Prior to coming to Roslyn, Dr. Brenner had been the principal of Yorktown High School in Westchester County. He began his educational career as a school psychologist in the Great Neck public schools, becoming principal of the Village School in 1995. During the course of his career, he has been a crisis team leader, a girls’ varsity basketball coach and a mentor for colleagues and students. He has also continued to work as a clinical psychologist specializing in adolescents and their families. Dr. Brenner is a trustee of a non-profit agency serving developmentally disabled adults, and has been a presenter at conferences about childhood development and other educational issues.
Dr. Brenner is a graduate of Tufts University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science cum laude in 1981. He earned a Master of Science degree in 1982 and a Doctor of Philosophy from Hofstra University in 1987.
As noted in the June 25 issue of The Roslyn News, Dr. Richman announced his retirement at the June 18 Board of Education meeting. Dr. Richman did not attend that meeting, but he did deliver a farewell letter, one that was read to the public.
In the letter, Dr. Richman touted “positive changes” in the curriculum, including the creation of the alternative program at Roslyn High School, the introduction of the Columbia Writing Project in the elementary schools, the expansion of foreign language offerings, and a renewed emphasis on differentiated instruction.
He also noted improvements in business operations, in-house technology, plus the renovation of the middle school’s athletic fields.