Regina Agrusa appointed next Sewanhaka superintendent


The Sewanhaka Central High School District recently promoted Deputy Superintendent Regina Agrusa to superintendent of schools, effective July 1.

The district includes Elmont, Sewanhaka, H. Frank Carey, New Hyde Park and Floral Park high school.

Agrusa began working in the district in 1997, as a school counselor at Elmont Memorial High. She became personnel chair at the school two years later, and supervised student support services.

In 2004 Agrusa was promoted to district director of pupil personnel services. She was named assistant superintendent in 2013, and was responsible for student support services and special education instruction and programs. In March 2022 she was appointed deputy superintendent.

Agrusa’s leadership qualities, strategic vision, knowledge of the district community and passion for education are what William Leder, president of the Sewanhaka Board of Education, said he believed made her the “ideal candidate” for the position.

“Her dedication to educational excellence, student well-being and community engagement has been exemplary throughout her decades-long tenure within our school district,” Leder said in a statement.

Agrusa earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology form Villanova University in 1987, and a master’s in human resource management from New York University in 1989. She holds New York state school district leader and school counselor 7-12 certifications, which she earned at LIU Post in 1997.

She coached the girls’ varsity lacrosse team at Elmont Memorial from 1999 through 2004, earning conference Coach of the Year honors in 2003.

“My hope and my goal while coaching at Elmont was to empower young girls to dig deep within their souls and to have confidence,” she said. “And to be able to express and articulate that confidence — not only on the field, but then off the field. You’re really cultivating future leaders, and it was by far one of the most memorable experiences that I’ve had here.”

Agrusa said she takes every opportunity to celebrate student successes in the district, whether they are in academics, the arts, athletics or extracurricular activities. She highlights, celebrates and markets their talents across the district’s five schools.

The communities’ pride in those schools, she said, is something she believes makes Sewanhaka special. Seeing generations of families come together to support their young scholars is heartwarming for her.

“It’s a special feeling to know that we have been trusted with instructing and educating children that are so loved and that are so supported by their families,” she said.

As well, community groups and local business owners support the schools, and provide opportunities for students.

Agrusa also said she is “enamored” of the commitment of the schools’ staffs throughout the district. “I walk the halls of our schools, and I am so proud to be in the company of all of the folks in our school,” she said.

The responsibility of public schools is to prepare students for life beyond high school. The plans for individual students will vary according to their own talents, goals and dreams, but Agrusa said it is the schools’ “collective responsibility to secure a post-high school plan.”

For her part, cultivating relationships with students is a crucial aspect of preparing students for graduation. When she talks to students, she said, she keeps in mind their unique skill sets and aptitudes, to help them find something they can be excited and passionate about.

“What I instill in the school counselors and the teachers is just to get a sense of who (students) are and connect them to what will fuel their soul,” Agrusa said.

The partnerships between educators and parents are just as important to those students’ successes. “Our parents have always been our greatest resources,” Agrusa said. “And I learned that at Elmont, when I had the opportunity to get to know parents and talk to parents about their dreams and aspirations for their children.”

When the adults collaborated, she said, they helped students achieve more positive outcomes.

District students come from 15 elementary schools in Bellerose, Elmont, Floral Park, Franklin Square, Garden City Park and New Hyde Park. Forming relationships with these schools, so that younger students graduating from elementary school make a smooth transition to high school, is another pillar of success in the district.

In her current role, Agrusa said, she pays a great deal of attention to ensuring that there are processes in place, such as sixth-grade orientation in the summer, to make sure that transition is as smooth as possible.

“We might be separate school districts, but there is a dotted line of articulation because we’re one community,” Agrusa said. “So oftentimes I’d like to treat the process as if we are K through 12, because these are all our families. They’re our students.”