Since retiring from a full-time position in 2001, longtime educator Richard Malone has worked in several part-time positions across the East End, where he’s resided much of his adult life.
And he says he’s had a lot of fun working in these various positions, learning how each role in an educational setting is key to a child’s development. Which is why Malone says believes he will be able to keep a positive energy going as new superintendent for the tiny Orient district.
“I’m here to keep the wagon moving,” said Malone, who “There is a lot of loyalty to this school in the community — and the kids are just great.”
Malone, 68, is a Water Mill resident who has served as head of the Child Development Center of the Hamptons in Wainscott, the Morriss Center /Hampton Day School, the Long Island University Center for Gifted Youth, and the Peconic Montessori in Water Mill. He has also worked as an educational consultant in Smithtown and as an intermediate school principal in Southampton, among many other positions in education.
He’s worked in public, private and charter school settings, giving him a strong sense of what different types of students, parents, teachers, and taxpayers need for a productive educational environment, he said.
For the past year, Malone served as a consultant to the Oysterponds School District and said he understands the between the district and the community over options for secondary education for children. Board members have for years now tried to give parents the option of sending their children to districts like Mattituck outside of close-by for secondary education. But the board and renewed a contract with Greenport.
“We’ve made a commitment to work with Greenport Schools, and I think as a result, the relationship between the districts is improving and that ultimately will benefit the children,” he said. “As a consultant last year, I learned who all the players were here, and I appreciate all the board is trying to do on behalf of the school district.”
With the built-in advantage of small classes at Oysterponds, Malone said he thinks board members have set the stage for continuing staff professional development and have upgraded the curriculum in science, math and technology.
“I’d like to see Oysterponds become a lighthouse school for other school to take a look at as an example of what can be done with smaller classes, where kids get a lot of individual attention,” he said.
Malone is originally from upstate near Albany. He started his career in the Westbury School District in Nassau County and moved to Southampton in 1981 as interim principal. Three of his four grown children have had careers in education and his youngest son works for a major network in New York City. He says he’s developed a new appreciation for the North Fork over the past year and looks forward to leaning more as Oysterponds' superintendent.
“I’m learning a lot about the dynamics of the communities of Orient and East Marion,” he said.