Prendergast to retire from Great Neck School District in July

Prendergast to retire from Great Neck School District in July
Great Neck School District Superintendent Teresa Prendergast's resignation will go into effect in July. (Photo courtesy of the Great Neck Public Schools)

Great Neck School District Superintendent Teresa Prendergast submitted a letter of resignation to the Board of Education during Wednesday night’s public meeting.

Prendergast’s resignation, set to go into effect July 21, was unanimously accepted by board members, who said the letter came as a surprise to them. The resignation, board President Rebecca Sassouni said, was “for purposes of retirement.”

“I’m going to miss this community,” Prendergast said. “I’m going miss our students and faculty and our entire staff. But our work is not done and I’m not leaving yet.”

Sassouni and the other board members expressed their appreciation for Prendergast’s work in the district since she was appointed to superintendent in 2015. Sassouni said it has been “an honor” to work with Prendergast both as a member of the board and as an involved parent in the school district.

“Watching you work, the grace that you bring to the position the attention to detail and to students and to staff and to the board, you are the picture of grace and aplomb and it is very much appreciated by me,” Sassouni said.

“I just want to thank you peripherally at this point for shepherding our district through some very difficult times and difficult situations with grace and a smile and a caring for our students which has always been your number one priority,” Trustee Donna Peirez said.

“As a parent, that my daughters have benefited greatly from the schools and is a direct reflection on your leadership,” Trustee Grant Toch said. “It’s been a privilege to send them to school here while you’ve been here.”

“You impact many lives of our students and we appreciate you and you’re part of our family forever,” Trustee Jeff Shi said.

“This was startling to all of us, so we weren’t really prepared with anything for tonight,” former board President and Trustee Barbara Berkowitz said. “But more will definitely follow and we will have a chance to express our appreciation for your almost eight years of service.”

Prendergast lauded the board’s work, saying how much of a pleasure it was to work with all of the trustees since arriving at Great Neck.

Having community members that will prioritize the education of Great Neck’s student body, she said, should always be of paramount concern with any district official and said the board has exemplified that throughout her tenure.

“Working in public education has certainly brought its share of challenges, but I am grateful that I’ve always had five dedicated and committed trustees who always looked to make decisions in the best interests of children,” Prendergast said.

No official word has been made public as to the district’s selection process for a new superintendent.

An educator since 1987, Prendergast served as the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction for the Garden City Public Schools District.

Before working in Garden City, Prendergast served at the Lynbrook Public Schools – first as principal of the Lynbrook South Middle School from 2000 to 2004 and then as assistant superintendent for curriculum and personnel from 2004 to 2006.

From 1994 until 2000, Prendergast worked for the Woodmere Middle School. She was mathematics chairperson from 1994 to 2000, an assistant principal from 1995 until 2000 and also served as teaching dean from January to June 1995, according to the school district.

Prendergast also worked at Intermediate School 238-Susan B. Anthony Academy in Queens from 1987 through 1994, working as a math teacher before becoming the sixth-grade dean of students.

She studied at St. John’s University, where she earned her bachelor of science degree in elementary education, nursery through grade six, and mathematics, grades seven through nine.

She also received a doctorate of education in educational administration and supervision, as well as a professional diploma in educational supervision and administration, from St. John’s.

Prendergast obtained her master of science degree in mathematics education, grades seven through 12, from CUNY Lehman College, the school district said. She also has an associate in applied science degree from Pace University.

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  1. Under Predergast the GNPS began replacing teachers with the lowest salaries and endorsed increasing administrative costs. Berkowitz only have her a 2 year extension instead of the traditional 3 so once again her comments are insincere and self serving. This is a weak Board and the high achieving population is masking a serious decline in the School System.


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