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Freund Moves On as Greenwich Seeks School Leader

GREENWICH, Conn. – As the Greenwich school district continues its search for a new leader, its former superintendent Sidney Freund will become interim leader of the Greenburgh Central School District in Hartsdale, N.Y. Freund resigned last spring, blaming unrest on the Greenwich Board of Education.

Freund unexpectedly quit May 17, after less than two years in Greenwich, and officially left in August. Roger Lulow, a former Greenwich superintendent, replaced him and will serve as the interim chief of schools until the district finds a permanent replacement. The Board of Education voted to establish a search committee for a new superintendent in September. It will be the district’s third superintendent search in six years.

Similarly in Hartsdale, Freund will begin as interim superintendent Jan. 1 as the Greenburgh district searches for a permanent replacement for Ronald Smalls, who retired. Freund's contract will expire June 30. He is no stranger to the district: Freund is a resident of nearby Edgemont, N.Y., and previously served as interim superintendent in the district from 2007 to 2008 after retiring as superintendent in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.

“Dr. Freund has the experience and distinguished background to meet the immediate challenges facing the district in this school year,” Greenburgh Central 7 Board of Education President Terry Williams said in a statement Thursday. “He is no stranger to the board, the district, our schools and our community. He can hit the ground running to help lead us through a tough year financially, as the board searches for a new superintendent. We welcome back Dr. Freund.”

After Freund resigned in Greenwich, he released a letter on May 19, explaining his move after an “outpouring of support” from the community. Freund said that when he arrived in Greenwich, two Board of Education members questioned his work. Freund said discourse generated by “the two” became “accusatory, disrespectful and uncivil.”

Fellow board members and many parents accused board members Peter Sherr and Marianna Ponns Cohen of driving Freund out of the district. Ponns Cohen last week ran for re-election but was ousted by voters.

“Six members of the board believed we were on track and supported the direction and the strategies we were implementing in order to improve achievement," Freund said. "In their unending and, unfortunately, fruitless attempts to be conciliatory, to listen to dissenting views and to work collaboratively with their colleagues, ‘the six’ became distracted by ‘the two’ in addressing the important work of the board.”

During his time in the district, Freund established the district data team to develop district goals, supported the district’s Strategic Improvement Plan , backed the implementation of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program at Western Middle School, advocated for science instruction improvements across the district, changed the district’s review process for granting tenure to teachers and supported the Greenwich High School Music Instructional Space and Auditorium project through the approval process.

After a year in the position, the Greenwich Parent Teacher Association Council executive committee voted unanimously to nominate Freund for state recognition as superintendent and the State Parent Teacher Student Association selected him as the 2010 Outstanding Superintendent of the Year.

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