After nine years at its helm, Superintendent Lisa Ruiz announced her retirement at the district’s Nov. 16 board of education meeting.
With a total of 42 years in education, Ms. Ruiz joined East Rockaway after serving as the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in Merrick for seven years and director of pupil personnel services in Levittown for five.
During her tenure in East Rockaway, Ms. Ruiz has increased the percentage of students attending college; increased the Advanced Placement and dual enrollment college course offerings; proactively managed the COVID-19 pandemic; improved outcomes for students; focused on student mental health and social emotional learning by adding programs and partnering with Northwell Health Behavioral Clinic; significantly increased the availability of support services for students; and increased professional development opportunities for staff. Ms. Ruiz has brought innumerable upgrades and innovations to the district’s educational technology and has implemented district initiatives such as Visible Learning and Engage Every Family.
She provided leadership for reshaping the district’s values, vision and goals, along with the development and implementation of its Five-Year Strategic Plan. Under her guidance the community has seen the successful passage of all budgets, with two coming in under the tax levy cap, as well as a $27.7 million bond project in 2019.
“It has truly been an outstanding experience for me to work together with administrators, staff, faculty and families, and most importantly, our students, to realize advances in our instructional programs, capital improvements and community relations. Together, we have been able to accomplish a great deal in the progress of our students and community,” Ms. Ruiz said in her retirement letter. “East Rockaway is a very caring, unique and dedicated community that exemplifies what it means to be cared for and supported, especially during this most challenging time in our schools. I appreciate the many positive connections I have made over the years and I thank you all for your support.”
Ms. Ruiz’s retirement will be effective June 30, 2022.