Secaur to leave Oceanside for Hewlett-Woodmere position


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Oceanside schools Superintendent Dr. Herb Brown retired on June 30, leaving a vacancy that was filled by Dr. Phyllis Harrington, the former superintendent of the Oyster Bay-East Norwich school district.

Harrington’s resignation from Oyster Bay-East Norwich left a vacancy that was filled by Dr. Laura Seinfeld, the former deputy superintendent for curriculum and instruction of the Hewlett-Woodmere schools.

Seinfeld’s vacancy has now been filled by Mark Secaur, the principal of Oceanside High School.

Secaur, 44, will leave Oceanside on Aug. 1, after eight years at the helm of the high school.

It was difficult to tell the staff and administration that he was leaving, said Secaur, who lives with his family in Malverne. “I’ve had a great experience at Ocean-side, and it was tough to say goodbye to the people I’ve worked with for the past eight years,” he said. “I hate to leave, but the new position will be an interesting challenge that I’m looking forward to.”

Secaur said that he will miss his “fantastic staff” most of all. “We were all on the same page and going in the same direction,” he said. “We all wanted to help students learn and grow. It’s so hard to leave because I have such great memories of what we did here.”

He said he is wistful that he has left one task undone. “I really wanted to finish the job of navigating the new state mandates and curriculum,” Secaur said. “That’s a long-term challenge that I will carry to my new position.

His proudest moment? “Our response to Hurricane Sandy,” he said after some thought. “We made a place for people to come, and we went to them as well. It was a great life lesson for both the staff and the students.”

Secaur’s professional background includes six years as a special education teacher and 12 years of administrative experience. He has been OHS’s principal since 2008, supervising approximately 2,000 students and 235 staff members, developing a schoolwide intervention plan for students in academic jeopardy and working closely with departmental supervisors to improve students’ performance on Regents and Advanced Placement exams.

Previously, Secaur was associate principal of the high school for three years, assistant principal of Nassau BOCES and a special education teacher in New York City.

He is the president-elect of the Long Island Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, has made presentations on improving disabled students’ graduation rates at both the Long Island and New York State Council for Exceptional Children conferences, and has been an adjunct professor at CUNY Brooklyn in the special education master’s program.

Secaur holds an Advanced Certificate in school administration and supervision and a master’s in education from Brooklyn College, where he has also received the Barbara Reing Memorial Award in recognition of his scholarship and service to students with disabilities. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history from the State University of New York at Geneseo.

Donna Krauss, a spokeswoman for the Oceanside schools, said that Harrington has recommended to the Board of Education that Geraldine DeCarlo, who has been associate principal of OHS for the past 10 years, be appointed principal. “DeCarlo offers stability, continuity and deep knowledge of OHS, its students and staff,” Krauss said.

She added that the superintendent and the Board of Education will seek to find a replacement for DeCarlo as well as Associate Principal Fred Koller, who recently announced his retirement.