February 26, 2019
Dear Putnam Valley Community:
It is with great pleasure that the Putnam Valley Board of Education announces that Dr. Jeremy Luft has been offered the position to be the next Superintendent of Schools for the Putnam Valley Central School District. It is anticipated that the Board will formally appoint Dr. Luft at the next Board of Education meeting, which is scheduled for February 28, 2019. The Board would like to take this opportunity to review the lengthy process that led to this decision and thank all of those community members and staff who participated in this process.
Dr. Luft joined the Putnam Valley Central School district as the Director of Curriculum and Innovative Instruction two years ago. From the start of his employment with us, Dr. Luft’s expertise and leadership abilities were evident. He quickly prioritized needs in the areas of curriculum and instruction and demonstrated his ability to motivate and support staff in implementing ways to address those needs. Dr. Luft’s experiences include holding the positions of Director of Technology and Director of Curriculum and Instruction in two local high performing districts. His communication skills and ability to work with diverse groups of people to achieve a district goal were in clear evidence in the past year as he took the lead in developing our facilities improvement plan and in communicating the need of that plan to all Putnam Valley School Community members.
This year, the Board of Education has accepted the resignation for the purpose of retirement of Superintendent Dr. Frances Wills, effective June 30, 2019. Dr. Wills has left an indelible and profound mark on the Putnam Valley Central School District. In developing a dynamic, committed and visionary leadership team that most recently included Dr. Luft, who contributed a strong background in curriculum, innovative instruction, and technology, as well as district leadership experience, Dr. Wills provided a foundation for advancing student opportunities and making strong connections with our dedicated, talented staff and supportive community.
In looking at the future leadership of the district, the Board of Education was unanimous in feeling that Dr. Luft was a viable candidate for the superintendent position. However, this decision is of the utmost importance to the district and not one that the Board of Education takes lightly. We sought the consultation services of BOCES, who frequently facilitates the recruiting, interviewing and hiring of superintendents for local districts. In fact, they have been involved in six local superintendent searches and selection in the past two years. The BOCES team, led by Superintendent Dr. James Ryan, provided their expertise in a number of ways. They began by holding informational sessions among the staff, administration and parents/community with the purposes of determining what each of these constituent groups felt were the district’s greatest strengths, as well as areas for further growth. Participants in these sessions were also asked to discuss the traits and qualities they would like to see in the next Superintendent of Schools. The BOCES team then conducted an extensive interview of Dr. Luft. The team was unanimous in their feedback that Dr. Luft was a highly qualified individual who possesses the experience and qualifications commensurate with the successful candidates in recent searches. More importantly, the BOCES team informed the Board that they felt Dr. Luft exemplified the qualifications that our community groups had felt were essential for our next Superintendent. The Board of Education then conducted our own in-depth interview of Dr. Luft, which included a review of his qualifications and performance since entering the district, and a request that he present a transition plan that could be implemented if he were to be offered the Superintendent position.
Considering all of these factors, the Board of Education developed strong confidence that Dr. Jeremy Luft is the most appropriate and qualified candidate to continue the leadership of the Putnam Valley Central School District. In addition to his professional credentials, Dr. Luft has strong personal ties to the Putnam Valley community as a former Putnam Valley student himself. We ask all of you to join us in welcoming Dr. Luft to his new position and partnering with him as he leads our district into the future. We invite you to join us for an opportunity to meet and greet Dr. Luft who will be available for informal conversations and questions. We will hold a small reception and Dr. Luft will facilitate a listening hour on February 28, at 6 pm, just prior to the Board Meeting where we anticipate appointing Dr. Luft to the position of Superintendent of Schools effective July 1, 2019. The Board of Education looks forward to working with all of you and Dr. Luft as we continue to provide a quality and fiscally responsible education to our most precious resources, the students of Putnam Valley.
Board of Education:
Jeanine Rufo, President
Joseph Ferraro, Vice President
Guy Cohen, Trustee
Barbara Parmly, Trustee
Ralph Smith, Trustee