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Kenneth Graham Appointed Assist. Superintendent for Curriculum

Kenneth Graham.
Kenneth Graham.
Story by Rosemary Leonetti.

After a candidate search that began in October 2012, the Long Beach Board of Education convened for a special meeting on Jan. 29 to confirm the appointment of Kenneth Graham as the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. Graham currently serves as the district’s K-12 director of science.

“The selection process was long and strenuous,” said Superintendent of Schools David Weiss. “Along the way Mr. Graham made several presentations outlining his goals for meeting the Common Core Standards. He presented creative and hopeful ideas for our district.”

Graham has worked in the Long Beach Public Schools for 16 of his 17 years in public education. He began his career with the district in 1996, serving as  a high school science teacher and cross-country/track and field coach. He left the district for one year, before returning in 2008 to take on the responsibility of heading the district’s science program.

Under Graham’s leadership there has been a dramatic increase in the number of students enrolled in accelerated Regents Earth Science classes in eighth-grade, according to the Long Beach School District. The number of high school students taking chemistry and physics – as well as AP, IB and college-level science classes – has also increased substantially and steadily under his direction. During this time he has supervised extensive curriculum revisions to the district’s K-6 science program.

In addition to his administrative duties, Graham has continued an active role as an educator. He teaches online college courses in biology and environmental science. He has also facilitated numerous professional development courses for teachers in the district and has model-taught in many of the district’s elementary classrooms.

Graham recently completed his doctoral work in educational leadership and policy at Fordham University and looks forward to his dissertation defense, scheduled for February. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in earth and space science at Stony Brook University.

“I’ve known Ken for many year,” said Board of Education President Roy Lester. “I can’t think of a better person to fill this position.”

Board Vice President Darlene Tangney told Graham at Tuesday’s meeting: “One of your greatest strengths is the way you treat children. I have no doubt that you will continue to advocate for our children as you work with the superintendent to bring our district forward.”

Graham succeeds Dr. Vincent Butera, who was hired as superintendent of Bayport-Blue Point School District in Suffolk County in September.  
Bill Carls January 30, 2013 at 03:03 PM
Mr. Graham was my 11th grade Earth Science teacher back in the late 90's. He was a great educator then and I'm sure he's gotten even better in the years since. Congrats to him!
Mr Dunes January 30, 2013 at 03:08 PM
Mr. Graham was my Cross Country Coach in the late 90's. I hope he turns the high school's focus more towards Marine Biology. Lets look at efficient and natural (Oysters) filters to mitigate the water pollution our community's been having since long before Sandy.
Jack January 30, 2013 at 07:14 PM
Another example of make work supervisory jobs at the LB school district. Instead of trying to save taxpayer money by downsizing and consolidating they are increasing our taxes with excess jobs. Oh I forgot its for "our children".
Misty January 31, 2013 at 07:31 AM
Good luck, Ken. If anyone deserves this position, it's you!
lori January 31, 2013 at 08:05 AM
Congrats Mr.Graham. The negative ones were probably high school drop outs.
Our children are what matters!!! January 31, 2013 at 09:52 AM
Typical long beach... Hiring another "teacher" from within who has zero qualifications for this job!!!!! Where are his reading and writing qualifications??? How is a science teacher going to mov e our distict forward in these areas??? We have no reading and writing curriculum on this district people!!' Wake up!!! A science teacher is most certainly not the most qualified person to fix this problem.!!!!! How did this's n get hired for this position??? This is a complete joke!!! And our kids have been suffering and will continue to! Hiring someone from within who has no qualifications or experience in ela... Our children will suffer as usual and we will pay this guys salary... This was not the best candidate for this job and the superintendent and the board know it and as usual out children come last...
BSM January 31, 2013 at 01:55 PM
I am a retired elementary teacher and absolutely for anything to promote better educated students. I find the trend to make administration so top heavy very troubling. LB needs another administrator as much as a fish needs a bicycle! That money could be spent far more productively.
Carly January 31, 2013 at 07:05 PM
Wow, this new appointee has been running the K-12 science curriculum and overseeing all those teachers in 6 buildings while teaching online college classes and simultaneously commuting to the Bronx to pursue his doctoral studies while concurrently making powerpoints on the core curriculum (availabe courtesy of NYS online) in his spare time. I nominate him for Multitasker of the Year!!!! Who knew that a spread-too-thin science teacher with a Ph.D. in school leadership is the best candidate to create and oversee ALL curriculae for each department in every school in Long Beach. I have been teaching for 28 years, and am astonished. Can't wait to see what his already high six-figure salary step raise will be once he defends his dissertation. Way to pick 'em, Mr. Weiss!
Jack January 31, 2013 at 07:11 PM
"Our children" are being hurt because our children's parents can't pay the property taxes to the school district and are forcing the "our children"'s parents to move from Long Beach and the rest of Long Island.
Beachguy January 31, 2013 at 09:39 PM
I Don't know the intricacies of this issue but do feel that the school districts are top heavy with highly paid administrators while test scores don't seem to get any better. As is evidenced by many of the semi literate posts replete with misspellings , incredibly bad grammar, malaprops it's clear that we are spending an awful lot of money and are not getting much in return. The results years ago were much better with 35 kids in a classroom and a nun drilling basics into our resistant heads. And yes I'm not familiar with the curriculum but based on our unique location and situation there should be a strong marine science program.
John f January 31, 2013 at 09:48 PM
Just when we thought the garbage was sent away we get more waste. You are a smart person, I find it impossible to believe this is your choice when you had proven candidates before you. I have a lot of respect for Mr. Weiss and I believe this decision was forced on him by someone else. It's important that the NY state Attorney General office investigates this decision to make sure Mr. Weiss was not "persuaded"
Our children are what matters!!! January 31, 2013 at 10:55 PM
Please call the attorney generals office... This for sure needs to be investigated
Love This City February 01, 2013 at 10:12 AM
This Reminds me of the "exhaustive search" that got us the current head of the DPW, an old co-worker of Jack Schnirman...Of all the qualified applicants it is so wonderful that they already worked for the school system... How special. What does Mr. Weiss do if he has an Assistant for Curriculum and countless other "assistants"... Develop Football Stadiums? What is wrong with all of us that we have allowed our school system to become an albatross? While we all suffer higher taxes and lower home values all of the "administrators" are laughing at all of us all the way to the bank...
LB Resident February 01, 2013 at 03:00 PM
Great news for this community and for the students and staff of the LBCSD. Impressive, too, that he has grown through the ranks right here in Long Beach. As noted in Connections, the high school graduation rate has increased to 94% and all subgroups have achieved increases, with the greatest increases achieved by black and Hispanic students and students with disabilities. As Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, he will continue to raise the standards for all students. This was a great selection. Congratulations, Mr. Graham.
LBLIFE February 01, 2013 at 05:53 PM
Congrats, Mr. Graham! As a former student of his, I think they made a great choice. Great teacher in the beginning of his career, and I'm sure he's just gotten better. This man has stuck with the school district for all these years and I don't understand where all this negativity is coming from, they obviously don't have a clue.
Our children are what matters!!! February 02, 2013 at 12:07 AM
All the negativity is coming from the fact that you don't hire a nurse for a brain surgeons job!!!! He is a "science" teacher and I'm sure he's great at it... But he is not a curriculum coordinator of all subject areas including reading and writing nor does he have any experience in this area!!! Would you hire a nurse to do surgery on your family because they are a good nurse?? And a nice person?? Our district elementary schools have NO reading writing curriculum... A science teacher is not qualified not experienced to create and implement one!!! When you are a parent of children in this district.... Maybe you will begin to understand... He is not qualified for this job bottom line...he is just "friends" with some people who had a say in this decision....and how "they" got so much power to put their two cents in when this employee has done nothing but talked a good " used car salesman talk" since he's been an employee in our district is way beyond us all!!! In addition, you think his cronies that have been working with him for years are now going to take orders from him??? Nor do I think he will give the orders to his "friends" that need to be given to get this job done!!! especially when he has NO clue of what to do....we don't need nice and good for this job.... We needed someone qualified and experienced...and bc this unqualified teqcher from within the district was hired... bc it is corrupt and politically motivated we will continue to have a school district that lacks the ability to give our children the quality education they deserve!! The negative people don't have a clue???... Actually it's you who doesn't have a clue!!! Get one!!
Jack February 02, 2013 at 08:50 AM
"the high school graduation rate has increased to 94% and all subgroups have achieved increases, with the greatest increases achieved by black and Hispanic students" WOW! so the minority students who actually stay in school and get an attendance certificat has increased from 10% to 25%- WOW what an achievement . What a return on our school tax dollars. Its costs $30,000 dollars a year to educate a kid in LB for the 4 years. Most don't and we pay far more for lingering kids without the required attendance certificate credits.So now we reward a teacher with a high level supervisory job!
Jack February 02, 2013 at 08:53 AM
Maybe the new curriculum assistant principal will expose the dual school system implemented to segregate the minority students from the "gifted" majority students so the "gifted" students don't have to be harrassed on a daily basis by them. This is why our school taxes are so high- we pay for 2 school systems within one.

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