Pierson Middle/High School vice principal Gary Kalish has accepted a position as secondary school principal in Greenport and will be leaving the Sag Harbor School District at the end of this month.
The Sag Harbor Board of Education accepted Mr. Kalish’s resignation with regret at its meeting on Tuesday, April 14. He is expected to start in Greenport on May 1.
A graduate of Pierson himself, Mr. Kalish has been Pierson’s vice principal for the past seven years. He was the driving force behind the implementation of the IB (International Baccalaureate) program in Sag Harbor.
Kyle Sturmann, who graduated from the program last spring, said Wednesday that Mr. Kalish “was very dedicated to the success of the IB program at Pierson. He always made himself available to the candidates, maintained regular communication with the teachers [and] made sure that the students understood the guidelines of the program and that they never felt too overwhelmed by its rigor.”
At Tuesday’s meeting, the school board and administrators congratulated Mr. Kalish on his new position while expressing regret at seeing him leave Pierson.
“We’ve been lucky to have a homegrown Sag Harbor Pierson graduate to come back and make such a difference here for our students and our community,” said Chris Tice, vice president of the school board. “We’re sad to see you go, but we know it’s a promotion and it’s an opportunity to be captain of a ship and they’re lucky to have you.”
“We’re all happy for you but also, we will miss you,” agreed school board member David Diskin, who said his daughter Zoe, a Pierson student, shared his sentiments.
“I think you’re ready for the next step in your journey and I think you’re going to be fabulous, so good luck,” added board member Sandi Kruel.
“I was very proud to be able to come back,” Mr. Kalish said. “I was a student here and I loved being a student at Pierson and to be able to come back as an administrator—I was very honored and very proud. It was a great experience, I’ve learned so much. Pierson continued to teach me after I came back.”
“Mostly, I will miss the students—not just because I’m related to a few of them, but I really [will] miss all of them and I hope that they know that even if I’m not here, I’m still a whaler.”