Eleanor Tritt will serve as interim superintendent of the Sag Harbor School District while current Superintendent Katy Graves takes a medical leave, district officials announced on Wednesday, November 20.
Ms. Tritt is a former superintendent of the Amagansett School District and also served as interim superintendent in 2001 and again from 2002 to 2003. She worked as a permanent superintendent in Amagansett from 2008 to 2018, and had been superintendent of the Westhampton Beach School District from 1994 to 1997.
The Sag Harbor School District had announced on November 16 that Ms. Graves would take an unanticipated leave of absence beginning Friday, November 22, to attend to a personal medical issue. Ms. Graves was already set to retire on January 6, and the district has been searching for a new superintendent to take her place.
Before Ms. Tritt takes office in early to mid-December, George “Jeff” Nichols, the Pierson High School principal, will work as acting superintendent, with the assistance of other administrators, with no extra pay.
Ms. Tritt will be paid $1,300 per day as interim superintendent. She plans to stay through the end of June while the district searches for a permanent superintendent, officials said. If Ms. Graves returns from medical leave before her retirement, Ms. Tritt will serve as assistant superintendent until Ms. Graves’s retirement date.
“We are fortunate to have such an experienced leader join us and we extend her a very warm welcome,” the Board of Education said in a statement.
In addition to serving as an administrator in Amagansett and Westhampton Beach, Ms. Tritt was director of the regional technology center in San Jose, California in 1997, providing computer services for school districts in Silicon Valley.
“I couldn’t pass up this amazing opportunity to work with all the tech giants, which is why I left the East End at that time,” Ms. Tritt said in an email conversation this week.
She grew up in Brooklyn and attended Brooklyn College and Long Island University. “I began work in New York City and Brooklyn and gradually made my way out to the East End, with stops along the way in California and Nevada,” she said.
She has family in Brooklyn, upstate New York, Westhampton Beach, Nevada, California and Israel — from which she was returning last week.
Ms. Tritt said her early background with computers and a master’s degree in computer science afforded her varied and exciting opportunities, as most people with technical backgrounds originally worked in private industry rather than public education.
She was a mathematics and computer science teacher and computer systems programmer/analyst and data systems manager in New York City and Silicon Valley, and she was a central office administrator and associate superintendent in the Copiague School District for 10 years. In 2008, Ms. Tritt was interim director at the Children’s Museum of the East End in Bridgehampton. She also served the New York City Board of Education and the Personnel Department in the State of Nevada.
Ms. Tritt said the East End districts prepare students with a “sound, broad traditional education while offering very rich experiences in the visual and performing arts.” Community values and traditions are deeply ingrained in the local culture, she said, but at the same time students are well prepared for the changing world.
“The spirit and closeness within the Sag Harbor community are felt and appreciated by all. This atmosphere of support and belonging gives youngsters a feeling of confidence, warmth, caring and freedom to explore,” she said. “Sag Harbor schools’ staff are talented and dedicated in their service to all students and demonstrate an impressive and unique team-work ethic and commitment.”
On a more personal note, she said she looks forward to shopping at her favorite local Sag Harbor shops and maybe finding some new ones.
Ms. Tritt said she enjoyed working with Ms. Graves in past years and that she has “certainly been recognized, appreciated and admired by all.
“I join others in wishing her a joyful, well-deserved retirement and especially good health,” Ms. Tritt said.
She said her first goal is to make a smooth transition.
“We wish Ms. Graves a speedy recovery and congratulate her on her upcoming retirement,” said Wednesday’s statement from the district. “Ms. Graves’s accomplishments in this district are numerous, and we hope to properly thank and acknowledge her many achievements formally at a later date,”