Springs Names New Superintendent

Springs Names New Superintendent  Pic 1
Springs Union Free School District is pleased to announce that seasoned administrator Debra Winter has been appointed the district superintendent, effective July 1.

Winter has served as assistant superintendent for student and community services in the Longwood School District for the past 16 years, working closely with parents, students and many community agencies to bring programs that enhance student learning.

In the fall of 2016, the Springs School Board of Education engaged the services of District Wise Search Consultants to assist with the search. In developing the specifications, District Wise, on behalf of the Board, met with faculty, students and community members in the Springs community. It was through these meetings that the search firm and Board members developed the criteria for the next superintendent of schools.

“On behalf of the Board of Education, we are thrilled to announce Debra as our next superintendent of schools,” said Springs Board of Education President Barbara Dayton. “She is highly qualified and has a deep connection to the many students and staff members with whom she collaborates on a daily basis. She prides herself on being fiscally responsible and thinking creatively about how to bring programs to a district.”

During her tenure at Longwood, Debra was responsible for obtaining a $1.7 million Climate Transformation grant, which assisted the district in implementing the Leader in Me program in grades K-4 and PBIS (Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports) districtwide, while examining data to ensure all students succeed. She was also instrumental in starting a mentoring program between Brookhaven National Laboratory and the district, worked closely with the School-Business Partnerships of Long Island to bring FIRST Robotics (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) to Longwood and other neighboring schools, and created an alternative learning program that has been recognized as a New York State model program. She additionally showcased her creativity in finding out-of-the-box ways to fund STEM programming at the elementary level, lobbied for state aid and ensured students had modern tools, such as Chromebooks and iPads, at their disposal.

“We are preparing students for jobs that do not even exist yet,” said Winter. “We must prepare them with 21st-century skills – collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and communication. Our classrooms need to look different; students deserve space to collaborate.”

Winter counts among her accomplishments receiving a lifetime achievement award from the Long Island Association of Special Education Administrators, of which she is a former president, for her mentoring work and advocacy for students with disabilities. She is currently the supervisor for SUNY Cortland, placing student teachers on Long Island. For the last 12 years, she has mentored aspiring special education administrators, facilitating a collegial circle once a month through Eastern Suffolk BOCES. She has also been honored by the School-Business Partnerships of Long Island for her outstanding support for the FIRST Robotics competition.

A resident of Quogue, Winter has been actively involved in her community. She has served as vice president of the Middle Island Rotary Club, is a former Westhampton Beach High School PTO president and has served on the Town of Brookhaven’s Anti-Bias Task Force.

“I am honored to have been chosen as superintendent of the Springs School District,” said Winter. “I plan to make Springs my second home and look forward to working with the students, parents, teachers, support staff, Board of Education and community.”