Dr. Kathleen Mooney is the district’s newest superintendent

Following a thorough search and months without a permanent superintendent, the Board of Education finally chose Dr. Kathleen Mooney to fill the position. For the past four months, Dr. Mooney has served as the interim superindent after Dr. Gordon’s retirement last June.

Dr. Mooney is no stranger to Port Washington. She began working in the district in 2000, serving as the Director of Pupil Personnel Services for eight years.

After spending time overseeing the myriad of special education programs that take place throughout the district, Dr. Mooney was promoted to Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources in 2008, prior to landing the title of superintendent.

“Going forward, our biggest challenge, of course, is that the financial situation is so tight.  It makes it difficult to put motives and good intentioned programs into action.  I would not only like to maintain the superb quality of the school programs that we already have, but improve and enhance them in the years to come,” said Dr. Mooney.

If the budget does not leave the district with enough money, Dr. Mooney is hoping to fund new programs and technologies from grants to make up for the loss of finances.

Dr. Mooney clearly made a positive impression on the school board, which voted her superintendent out of forty candidates.

“We as a board and a community had the opportunity to see Dr. Mooney in action,” said Karen Sloan, President of the School Board.

When she is relaxing at home in Locust Valley, Dr. Mooney loves to cook, read, bake and shop.

“My favorite book is Little Women,” said Dr. Mooney.

“I always wanted to be like Jo March.  I could relate to her desire to run with the men, so to speak.  And I related to Jo in that she loved literature.  In high school, I used to write for the school paper and then, when I was a senior, I worked as the editor of the Features section and in college I was the editor-in-chief of the newspaper,” said Dr. Mooney.

Her favorite shows include Once Upon A Time, The Voice, American Idol and Downton Abbey.

Financial goals aside, Dr. Mooney is striving to encourage open communication between the students and herself and get to know the student body.

“Whether it is educationally or about the budget, I want to hear about it.  Within the next five years, I would love for us to keep up with technology and not only prepare our students for college, but for employment,” she said.

Dr. Mooney’s favorite part of the job is interacting with the students and staff, something that she would like to do more of in the upcoming months.

“So far, I have gotten more of a chance to connect with the terrific faculty and I have been working on getting to know the student body.  Port Washington truly has the best students.  When you walking into any one of the schools, students will hold the door open for you and are so polite.  They are helpful and eager to do so.  I think this is just a testament to the parents and illustrates how wonderful the community truly is.”