Great Neck school officials seek new Saddle Rock Elementary principal

Janelle Clausen
Saddle Rock Elementary School. (Photo courtesy of Great Neck Public Schools)

Saddle Rock Elementary School is starting the school year without a permanent principal, but an acting principal has been appointed and the search is on for a replacement, Superintendent of Schools Teresa Prendergast said yesterday.

School officials appointed Joseph Hickey, the superintendent for special education and pupil services, to be the acting principal of the elementary school until they find a replacement. A 12-person selection committee of teachers, administrators and parents will vet candidates.

Prendergast expressed confidence in Hickey’s experience and staff members to lead the school.

“Dr. Hickey will be working in partnership with Saddle Rock Assistant Principal Mrs. [Luciana] Bradley and the entire Saddle Rock school staff to ensure a successful opening for our students,” Prendergast said.

Hickey was a principal at Tooker Avenue Elementary School in West Babylon from 1997 to 2011, an educational administrator and district placement officer in the Bronx from 1995 to 1997. Prior to that, he was a special education teacher in the New York City Public Schools from 1989 to 1995.

Thomas Dolan, the previous superintendent of schools, described Hickey as a “proven leader” when he first joined the Great Neck schools.

Prendergast said the schools take getting a top tier replacement very seriously. She noted that the school placed an advertisement in the New York Times and on their online application system, “announcing our desire to hire an experienced, highly qualified educator to become the instructional leader of Saddle Rock.”

Eric Nezowitz, the previous principal of Saddle Rock Elementary School, accepted a position as assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in the Plainedge School District.

Nezowitz was principal at Saddle Rock Elementary School since 2007. Before that, he served as an elementary school teacher in the New York City Public Schools, assistant principal at Public School 215 in Brooklyn and principal of Public School 46 on Staten Island.

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