“I like education,” Anthony Cedrone, the Wantagh School District’s newly appointed assistant superintendent for business, said of his work in public schools. “I like being a part of something bigger . . . Having an educated community is what makes a good democracy, in my opinion.”
Cedrone will take over from the current assistant superintendent, Adriana Silver, who is retiring, on July 1. He has been the assistant superintendent for business in the Carle Place Union Free School District since 2007.
Cedrone, 45, learned of the opening in Wantagh in February. He spoke with Fern Miller, the senior accountant in the Wantagh district business office, whom he worked with when he was treasurer of the Merrick Union Free School District 14 years ago. “I had kind of done a little fact-finding in terms of whether I should apply or not,” Cedrone said. “I think that prompted them to reach out and say, ‘If you’re interested, let’s talk.’”
The Wantagh Board of Education selected Cedrone for the position on March 14. He has lived in Wantagh since 2003 with his wife, Melissa, and their three children, Gianna, 13, Landon, 10, and Rowan, 6.
A 1996 graduate of Queens College with bachelor’s degrees in accounting and economics, Cedrone worked at Avis Car Rental in Carle Place from 1995 to 1999. While there, he made contacts at Deloitte, a Big Four accounting firm in Manhattan, and after becoming a certified public accountant in 2000, he worked for Deloitte until the following year.
Cedrone then took a position as an auditor at Hofstra University while working toward his master’s in business administration, which he received in 2003. “It was while I was at Hofstra, getting that degree, that I decided I wanted to jump into public schools,” he said, “so I needed some additional credits.” He received a professional certificate in school business administration from LIU Post in 2004.
He became the treasurer of the South Country Public School District, in Patchogue, that year. In 2005, he was named the assistant superintendent for business in Merrick, where he stayed until 2007, when he took the position in Carle Place.
Cedrone said that the Carle Place district was a great place to work. “I really don’t have any bad things to say, and you know, in a way, I almost can’t believe that I’m leaving,” he said. “But with Wantagh being open, and having an excellent reputation . . . I just thought it was time for a change.”
Twelve years ago, Cedrone interviewed for the position in Wantagh. But Wantagh’s interview schedule was a few weeks longer than Carle Place’s, so he decided to accept his soon-to-be-former job. “To me, it’s kind of funny, or ironic, that the two places I interviewed in 12 years ago, now I’m kind of swapping,” he said.
Carle Place Superintendent David Flatley said he was happy for the people of Wantagh. “Working with Anthony Cedrone has made me look good in so many ways,” Flatley said, “because he’s a spectacular teammate, a financial wizard and somebody who truly cares about kids.”
Cedrone said he has followed some of Wantagh’s 2019-20 preliminary budget process, and he attended the first public meeting. One of the challenges he said he would face in his new position involves the permanent 2 percent tax levy cap just passed by the State Legislature. “For my job as a business official,” he said, “that’s always now going to be a challenge, in terms of finding the resources to make sure that all of the kids get an excellent education that they’re used to receiving in Wantagh, while trying to balance that with the cap and the community’s ability to pay for it.”
Another, more local challenge involves Nassau County’s ongoing reassessment process, he said, adding that he has found that people do not fully understand that process. “I look at my job as making sure that I’ve explained it in a way that they actually understand,” he said.
Cedrone belongs to a number of professional organizations. He is president of the Nassau County School Workers Compensation Cooperative, a member of the New York Association of School Business Officials and the International Association of School Business Officials, and a past president of the Nassau County Association of School Business Officials. He is a former volunteer with the Valley Stream Fire Department and the current vice president of the department’s Chemical Engine and Hose Company No. 2.
He said he was excited about the next school year. “I’m really looking forward to trying to help maintain [the Wantagh school district] to be an excellent place.”