Recently, the superintendent of the Floral Park Bellerose School District, Dr. Michael Dantona, gave his resignation letter to the board of education, who accepted his departure. According to board of education president Laura Ferone, the board would keep the Floral Park community informed as the search process continued in finding a new superintendent. It seems that wait is finally over after the board of education announced that Dr. Kathleen Sottile would take over as superintendent of schools at its July 1 meeting.
Sottile, who is a resident of West Hempstead and is very familiar with the Floral Park area, was assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction at Sewanhaka Central High School District for the past two years and also served as principal at Floral Park Memorial High School for 12 years. Prior to her tenure with Sewanhaka, Sottile held assistant principal positions in Scranton High School and Delaware Valley High School in northeastern Pennsylvania.
“After careful consideration, the board realized the ideal candidate to move our district forward was already a fixture in the community,” said Ferone. “Dr. Sottile is a proven leader and an outstanding educator.”
Sottile earned her doctorate of education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts from Marywood University. Sottile also holds principal/superintendent certification from Temple University and has received many awards and honors while at Floral Park Memorial High School, including being named the LIU Post-Secondary School Educator of the Year and receiving the Jamaica Square Improvement League Leadership Award; the PTSA Lifetime Achievement Award; Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award; Women of Distinction Eleanor Roosevelt Award; March of Dimes Golden Apple Award; Town of Hempstead Pathfinder Award and the New York District Everyday Hero Award. Her leadership at the high school also helped garner the Newsweek Magazine/Washington Post America’s Best High Schools award from 2006 to the present; U.S. News & World Report America’s Best High School Silver Award in 2008 and 2015 and U.S. News & World Report America’s Best High School Gold Award in 2014.
“It is an honor and a privilege to serve the Floral Park-Bellerose community in this new role,” said Sottile. “I have always found this community to be welcoming and child-centered, and I am looking forward to building on the strong educational foundation the district brings to each and every child in its care.”
Sottile will begin her new position on Sept. 1.