The Malverne School District’s Board of Education announced that they will accept a contract to hire Dr. Lorna Lewis as its next superintendent.
Lewis will replace outgoing superintendent Dr. James Hunderfund, who will retire at the end of this school year after 13 years in the district.
“After an extensive search and rigorous process, the board and I are excited to welcome Dr. Lewis to our community,” Board President Danielle Hopkins said in a news release. “Dr. Lewis brings a wealth of experience and perspectives that will drive our district into the future.”
The district had a total of 56 candidates, according to Hopkins. The group narrowed it down to three last month, and finalized their search last week.
Lewis began her career teaching mathematics and Advanced Placement physics at the Collegiate School in New York City. She then served in various administrative capacities, which included being a science chair in the Rockville Centre School District, science director in Uniondale School District, deputy superintendent in the Three Village Central School District and superintendent in the East Williston School District. She now serves as the Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District’s superintendent. In addition, Lewis is an adjunct professor at Hofstra University, in which she was the instructor of graduate science methods courses.
An active member of many professional associations, Lewis serves as the past president of the New York State Council of School Superintendents and also co-chairs its curriculum committee. She is past president of Long Island Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and the Nassau County Council of School Superintendents, and is on the board of ERASE Racism.
“I am overwhelmed with gratitude to be following my esteemed colleague Jim Hunderfund, who has accomplished so much already for the students and community of Malverne,” Lewis said. “I am truly honored to be chosen to build upon these successes, and move the district into the next era of outstanding achievements.”
Lewis received her bachelor’s in physics from Fordham University and went on to earn three master’s degrees before completing her doctorate in science education from Teachers College at Columbia University. Her impact as an educator has been recognized with distinguished awards from ERASE Racism, the NAACP, Nassau BOCES Education Partners, National Coalition of Black Women, St. John’s University Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, the Korean Parents Association of Long Island, the Long Island Black Educators Association and the Suffolk County Martin Luther King Jr. Commission.
Lewis has presented testimony on behalf of NYSCOSS on the impact of testing to the state senate and has presented a white paper to the commissioner and the Board of Regents on the proposed graduation rates. She has presented workshops at local universities such as NYSSBA, BOCES and LIASCD on topics that include board-superintendent relations, common core, embracing diversity and more.
With more than 40 years in education, Lewis will retire from the Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District in June. She begins her tenure at Malverne effective August 1. A special meet and greet with Lewis will be held for the community in the Malverne Performing Arts Center on March 5, at 7 p.m.