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Longtime Montauk School Educator Is Heading Upstate

Thu, 08/24/2023 - 11:55
The Montauk School
Christine Sampson

Brigid Collins, who has spent 16 years at the Montauk School as its assistant principal, summer school principal, and coordinator of curriculum and enrichment, has accepted a new role as superintendent of the Andes Central School District in upstate New York.

In an email to The Star, Dr. Collins said Andes has many similarities to Montauk, including its “close-knit and caring” community, rural character, and “strong, committed faculty.” She said the new position satisfies her desire to “move forward in a school leadership position.”

“The Andes position is a terrific fit. . . . We will be keeping our home on the East End, and will visit, of course, but we are headed up to Andes to live,” she said. “My whole family is looking forward to a new adventure, and we are delighted and feel blessed to land in such a beautiful place.”

The Andes School Board voted to hire Dr. Collins last Thursday upon the recommendation of its interim superintendent, a person whose name is familiar here: Catherine (Katy) Barber-Graves, who was superintendent in the Sag Harbor School District for about five years starting in 2014.

The Andes School District said in an announcement that Dr. Collins “has always loved being around children and has a true passion for creating educational settings that provide the best possible outcomes for all the children in her charge . . . She has worked with diverse families from all economic backgrounds, has a reputation for being honest and genuine, and treats everyone with the same level of respect and importance.”

The Daily Star in Oneonta reported on Friday that Dr. Collins was one of four finalists under consideration.

Dr. Collins did not say whether she’d applied for the Montauk superintendent position after its previous occupant, Jack Perna, retired after 50 years with the district. The Montauk School Board hired Joshua Odom, previously a teacher in the East Hampton School District and an assistant principal in Springs, to succeed Mr. Perna.

Dr. Collins’s husband, Jim Stewart, retired in June from a long and distinguished teaching and coaching career with the East Hampton School District. In 2012, after their daughter Katy died of a rare form of cancer, the couple founded Katy’s Courage, which supports pediatric cancer research, raises money for scholarships, and provides counseling services for families and children who have been impacted by cancer.

“I will miss the teachers, the children, and the families of Montauk School,” Dr. Collins said. “I have developed many friendships during my time as an administrator there.”


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