While Bayport-Blue Point’s newly hired school superintendent Dr. Vincent Butera doesn’t formally start his new job until December, Patch spoke with him to get some insight about himself, his experiences and what he considers the top challenges for the district.
Dr. Vincent Butera
Residency (town): North Massapequa
Personal interests: Running, reading and sitting back on the weekend with his wife, watching his son and daughter participate in a host of sporting activities.
Patch: Why did you apply for the B-BP superintendent job?
Vincent Butera: Bayport-Blue Point certainly enjoys a wonderful reputation and is well regarded by many inside and outside the community. I ultimately decided, however, to apply after reading through the brochure that was prepared for the position of superintendent of schools in the Bayport-Blue Point School District. It was apparent that the priorities and values of the district were very much consistent with my own. There is a commitment to providing opportunities for all students, challenging all students, and providing the support so that all students develop the social, emotional and academic skills to succeed beyond their high school years.
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Patch: What specific qualifications do you have that you believe will benefit the district?
VB: My experience with the curriculum, finance and personnel side of school systems has certainly prepared me for the position. I realize, however, that the results of which I am most proud are a product of my collaborative efforts with staff, students, parents and the community. It is my ability and willingness to develop these partnerships that I believe will have the greatest benefit for Bayport-Blue Point.
Patch: What are the top two issues facing the B-BP district besides the budget issues facing all districts?
VB: School districts are faced with the task of implementing multiple mandates, including RtI, APPR, Common Core Standards and the Dignity Act, to name a few. There is a feeling among many educators that it is simply too much at one time. Having been actively involved with all of the initiatives listed, I can fully appreciate the importance of each as well as the potential benefits that they hold for students and staff. The challenge lies in planning for the implementation of each so that the benefits of each can be fully recognized. Success in meeting these mandates will require a disciplined approach to planning and implementing, as well as to how we allocate our resources.
Patch: What will be your first course of action when you join the district in December?
VB: My first course of action, which I started to plan for well ahead of my official December 3 start date, is to begin the process of building quality relationships with as many people associated with the district as possible, and to also begin to establish myself as a member of the Bayport-Blue Point community. Through many planned conversations with Board members, internal leadership groups, direct reports, principals, teachers, students, parents, community organizations, community members, business partners and former school leaders, I will learn about and develop a thorough understanding of the strengths of the district, as well as the challenges that will need to be successfully addressed.
Patch: What is your definition of a school superintendent and the role he or she plays in a district?
VB: Aside from the day-to-day operation of the school district, it is the school superintendent who has the responsibility to work with the Board of Education, administrators, teachers, parents and community members, as well as all those who have a vested interest in the success of the school district, to develop a clear and compelling vision of the preferred future and to work with each to make that picture of success a reality. A superintendent must ensure that the policies, practices and resources are all aligned with those future goals.