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.
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