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Nassau ֱ appoints new District Superintendent

Larry J. Leaven

The Nassau ֱ Board of Education proudly announces that it has appointed Larry J. Leaven as its new District Superintendent. He assumes responsibility for leading the largest Board of Cooperative Educational Services (ֱ) in New York State on July 1, 2024, following his June 13 appointment. Nassau ֱ is a cooperative of the 56 school districts in Nassau County, which collectively serve nearly 200,000 students. Mr. Leaven succeeds Dr. Robert Dillon, who passed away in July 2023.

In addition to serving as Nassau ֱ’ chief executive officer, Mr. Leaven, of the Bronx, N.Y., will act as the regional representative for the New York State Commissioner of Education. He brings more than 30 years of experience in education, having held numerous leadership roles, including most recently as superintendent of Florida Union Free School District in Florida, N.Y.

Mr. Leaven brings global experience to the role as well, having overseen the establishment of the Dalton School in Hong Kong and served as the founding director of the early childhood, dual-language school. He also served as an elementary school principal at the Beijing International Bilingual Academy in Beijing, China.  

Mr. Leaven is currently an educational consultant for Metamorphosis Teaching Learning Communities, working alongside more than 135 schools and districts nationwide to build academic capacity at all levels, from lesson planning to administrative strategy.

“Mr. Leaven brings a uniquely varied and multifaceted background in education,” said Susan Bergtraum, president of the Nassau ֱ Board of Education. “Between his overseas, administrative and consulting work, Mr. Leaven is well-poised to lead Nassau ֱ’ next chapter, which will include continuing to provide premier educational and support services that ensure equity, opportunities and access for all.” 

As district superintendent, Mr. Leaven will assist component school districts with the interpretation and implementation of New York State and federal education laws, regulations, policies and initiatives.

Additionally, Mr. Leaven will serve as the educational leader of Nassau ֱ, accountable for ensuring that all of the Agency’s educational programs are aligned with state educational initiatives and standards. Mr. Leaven will work collaboratively alongside the Agency’s Deputy Superintendent/Chief Operating Officer, James Widmer, who will continue to oversee the day-to-day operation of the Agency.

“I am thrilled to join Nassau ֱ and become part of its legacy of success,” Mr. Leaven said. “I look forward to working with the Nassau ֱ senior leadership team and dedicated Board to collectively realize the vision, mission and values that make this Agency a beacon of educational excellence. A large part of that success will come from listening to and working with the leaders of our component school districts and our industry partners.”

President Bergtraum praised the Agency’s senior administration, saying “We are incredibly proud of the way they led Nassau ֱ over the past year. Their dedication and experience ensured that the Agency continued to provide excellent service to our districts and students. We cannot thank them enough.” 

Mr. Leaven worked at several New York school districts throughout his career, including the Orchard Park Central School District, the Churchville-Chili Central School District, the Frontier Central School District and the Sweet Home Central School District.

He holds a Master of Science in Education from New York State College at Buffalo and a Bachelor of Music from Houghton College as well as professional certificates for school district administrator and school administrator and supervisor.