The year of administrative changes in the Saugerties school district continued last week. Deputy superintendent Lawrence Mautone is leaving next month to become the assistant superintendent of human resources in the Suffern school district in Rockland County.
“This position is a great opportunity to work in a district where I will have the room and opportunity to continue to grow as an educator,” said Mautone. “Everyone that I have met so far in Suffern has been very nice, and I am excited to begin a new chapter in my career there.”
Mautone was hired as deputy superintendent in Saugerties October 2013, selected over a dozen other candidates. He took over the position from G. Michael Apostol, who left the district to become principal of the high school in the Hoosic Valley district. Mautone had previously been the principal at Mount Marion Elementary School for five years, and was a social studies teacher in the district for nearly a decade before that.
Mautone has a master’s degree in social studies secondary education from SUNY New Paltz. His administration certification at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
In addition to serving as deputy superintendent, Mautone spent the majority of the 2018-19 school year as interim superintendent, steering the district through its lengthy search to find a replacement for former superintendent Seth Turner, who left last year to head the Amagansett Union district on Long Island. Mautone was one of roughly 40 candidates who applied for the superintendency, which eventually went to Kirk Reinhardt, principal of Kingston High School.
Mautone said district staff had made his dual role easier. “Doing the two jobs of deputy and interim superintendent was a great challenge,” said Mautone. “I worked as hard as I could this year to ensure things would run as smooth as possible. I believe we had a very successful year and that is due to everyone chipping in to fill in the gaps.”
He praised the staff in the superintendent’s office, the business office, and the buildings and grounds crew. “I was also fortunate to have a very strong team of central office and building level administration who do their jobs very well,” Mautone said. “In addition, the teachers and assistants and the entire school staff were very supportive. Saugerties has a great group of dedicated educators working in its buildings. Finally, my wife and family at home were extremely supportive of me as well.”
President of the school board Robert Thomann said Mautone had served the district admirably. “He’s done a great job,” Thomann said. “Any successful administrator eventually moves from the district they started out in. I can’t say anything but good stuff about him. He’s been honest, open and hardworking.”
Moving forward, the Saugerties district’s top administration will look very different than it did a year ago, with Turner, former business manager Lissa Jilek, and now Mautone departed. Jane St. Amour, currently business manager at the Spencer-Van Etten school district near Ithaca, will take on the role of business manager on July 1. Warren Donohue and Donald Gottlieb served in an interim capacity at that position during the 2018-19 school year.
It’s unclear yet whether the district will seek to hire a new deputy supervisor. “We’re not sure about that,” said Thomann. “We’re going to talk with the incoming superintendent, Mr. Reinhardt, and kind of brainstorm to see what he thinks the district’s needs are and what support he needs. It might be another deputy, it might be an HR person, like a director of HR. We’re just not sure right now, and we need to talk about it.”
Mautone spoke well about his time in Saugerties. “I am truly appreciative and thankful for the 20 years I was able to spend in Saugerties,” he said. “I was very fortunate to be able to work in a great community with great people, great families and great students. What made the experience so rewarding was being able to work in a number of different positions and in a number of different buildings that gave me the opportunity to build strong working relationships with so many people. When I moved into the central office, I also had the privilege of being able to work closely with a lot of our wonderful community members, too. I am sincerely going to miss my office staff, my colleagues, the students and the community. I wish all the best for the district. I am proud and honored to have worked here.”