On Day Seven of her new job, Kim Parahus, Hewlett-Woodmere’s recently hired director of school facilities and operations, was on the roof of the Woodmere Education Center in high heels, inspecting a possible leak.
Parahus, 49, the only female director of facilities and operations in Nassau County, is responsible for maintaining school buildings and overseeing the Hewlett-Woodmere School District’s maintenance and security staff. “Some guys are wary of me at first,” she said, “but once they get to know me, they’re able to get a sense of my background and knowledge, so it puts their fears at rest.”
Parahus, who lives in Massapequa Park, began her career as an elevator mechanic in Long Island City. “I thought it was a good part-time job to have while in college,” she said. “I ended up staying, and learned more about the field.”
Over the past 30 years, she has worked for New York City and Plainview-Old Bethpage public schools. “I’m excited to meet the challenges Hewlett-Woodmere has to offer,” she said. “Hewlett-Woodmere has a prestigious reputation, and once I heard Dennis Sheridan” — the former executive director of facilities and operations — “was retiring, I wanted to take on the challenge.”
Parahus is currently overseeing the restoration of tennis and handball courts as well as the construction of a greenhouse and a Life Skills room at Woodmere Middle School, and partial window replacement at the Woodmere Education Center. “One of the biggest challenges that exists is coordination between contractors to ensure that all work is completed correctly and prior to the start of the new school year,” she said. “On a positive note, the staff are dedicated and committed to the school district, and are bringing me up to speed very quickly. I’m extremely grateful for that.”
More new faces
Parahus isn’t the only new district employee. Mark Secaur will replace Laura Seinfeld as the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction on Aug. 1. Secaur, 44, a Malverne resident, has been the principal at Oceanside High School since 2008. “I had a successful experience at Oceanside, and was able to work as part of a team,” he said. “I have experience achieving goals and improving the measures that are imparted in schools and districts.”
He said he aims to improve instruction in the district. “I intend to help teachers by providing them with the tools and training they need to implement the district’s curriculum with fidelity,” Secaur said.
In order to prepare for his new position, he added, he will learn as much about the district, its policies and culture as he can. “I’ve been very impressed by the people I’ve met thus far, and look forward to meeting a larger number of the district’s staff,” Secaur said. “I’m very excited to join a great educational team.”
Elmont resident Anthony Murray is the new P-12 chairman of mathematics for the district. He has been the director of mathematics, computer education and technology for the West Hempstead School District since 2009. “I’m looking forward to being an integral member of my new team, and I hope to bring my years of curriculum, supervisory and teaching experience to this district,” said Murray, who is in his 40s. “I think my years of experience and my personal and sincere belief in equity in education made me stand out against other applicants.”
Murray said that Hewlett-Woodmere’s “outstanding reputation” was one of the reasons he wanted to become a part of the district. “I hope to encourage and influence others to educate with passion and enthusiasm and to support students who are struggling,” he said, “and motivate with creativity and humor.”
Richard Mangeri takes over as an assistant principal at Hewlett High School, replacing Al Bauer, now the principal of Woodmere Middle School. Mangeri, an East Meadow resident in his 40s, was a social studies teacher, attendance coordinator and a varsity football coach at Hewlett High School, and an assistant football coach, head track coach and assistant track coach at the middle school.
Mangeri will work with ninth- and 11th-graders and schedule midterm, Advanced Placement and Regents exams, among other duties. “I anticipate my new role to be challenging, but a vital part of fostering the development of all students at Hewlett High School,” he said.
Prior to coming to the district in 2001, Mangeri was a social studies teacher and then dean of students at Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale. “I’m looking forward to the new and different challenges that I’ll face on a daily basis as the assistant principal,” he said. “I hope to continue to foster my relationship with the Hewlett-Woodmere community, and help our student body reach their full potential.”
Have an opinion on this story? Send Letters to the Editor to firstname.lastname@example.org.