Franklin Square Schools Superintendent Patrick Manley changed his life when he left Wall Street behind to work as the districts assistant superintendent for finance and management in 2005. Since then, Manley helped maintain the school’s budget during a tumultuous period for Long Island schools as the 2008 recession decimated tax bases, and led to Albany slashing school aid. He was even credited with helping expand programs during this time while keeping staff members from being laid off.
Even as his health continued to decline from illness, Manley worked hard and attended every Board of Education meeting he could. He even attended some meeting with a breathing apparatus attached to him, but on Dec. 27 at age 49, Manley died.
“The Franklin Square community was fortunate that Mr. Manley was a part of this very special place,” Stephen Toto, a Board of Education trustee, said. “He touched many lives here, and he will be missed.”
Manley was appointed superintendent of the district in 2010, and school administrators at the time called him the perfect man for the job. Manley’s business background helped guide the district towards all of its budget goals just as New York State implemented its two-percent tax cap on annual municipal tax-levy growth. Despite the restriction, the district recognized Manley’s ability to juggle the finances to help implement the district’s full-day Pre-K program and fund its various infrastructure improvements throughout all three elementary schools. Even in his last year, Manley helped secure funding for a large capital improvements project slated to upgrade half the bathrooms in the district.
“Our biggest challenge is the balance between [continuing] to provide for our children and not burdening the taxpayers navigating these difficult economic times,” Manley had previously told the Herald. “As long as the community and the board and the administration work together, we can continue our success.”
Manley was also involved in his home community of Garden City. He spent more than 12 years coaching youth baseball teams and helped its Community Recreation Board manage its finances. Manley loved baseball and played the sport for the University of Chicago, as a result he was always known to push his players on the Garden City Rebels to strive for success. At the end of the 2018 summer season, the team presented Manley with an inscribed baseball that read, “A great coach is hard to find, difficult to part with and impossible to forget.”
Manley is survived by his wife, Barbra; his children, Jillian and Ryan; his brother Michael and his parents, Robert and Kathyrn. Manley’s wake was held at Park Funeral Chapels and on its website, friends and members of the community paid their respect to Manley and his family. Anthony Pignio, who worked with Manley at Cowen Capital, an investment firm on Wall Street, said he missed the days when they would joke around on the trading floor.
“I have thought of him often over the last decade or so,” Pignio wrote. “He walked away from this business on his own terms and chose a different path — in my opinion, a much more noble path — helping to shape future minds.”