Kevin Steingruebner takes on interim principal role
Change is afoot at Garden City High School. Longtime principal, Nanine McLaughlin, recently slid up to Central Office to take over as assistant superintendent of human resources and leadership development, a position previously held by Dr. Maureen Appiarius, when it was still known as the assistant superintendent for personnel. With McLaughlin ascending to this role, superintendent Dr. Kusum Sinha tapped assistant Kevin Steingruebner to fill in as interim principal. Having served in his prior position for a decade, Steingruebner is hoping the interim tag gets removed. But for the time being, he has already met Sinha to discuss goals for the coming school year.
“Goals are everything. That’s what I’m working on now with Dr. Sinha. Our overall goal is to make this school even better than it is,” he said. “We’ve achieved so much, especially in the past 10 years with what we’ve done. I’m proud to be part of this team that has made it happen and now I want to make it even better. So we’re working on what it is going to take to do that; we’re in that development process.”
One of the most recent developments is a significant change to the administrative structure that found Sinha naming Dr. Mandi Stefankiewicz to become Garden City High School’s third assistant principal (AP). It’s a development Steingruebner is quite pleased with.
“We’ve never had a third AP. It’s always been the two APs, a director of guidance and, in the past, it was a curriculum coordinator of Special Ed. that was cut years ago. Now we’re going to focus on bringing in new leadership. Mandi Stefankiewicz, the current psychologist, will be the third AP. We have to now develop what the position is going to be,” he explained. “The immediate challenge right now is to shape how that’s going to fit into our current administrative structure. Mandi has been here for 17 years and she’s a part of the culture. She’s well respected, intelligent and is going to be a part of our team. I’m looking forward to that.”
Sinha is equally thrilled with Steingruebner’s ongoing role, and his work in the decade he’s been with the district is a major reason why she went with him when McLaughlin was bumped up to Central Office.
“Kevin has been an integral part of the high school administrative team that has brought numerous accolades, most notably being one of the best high schools on Long Island. He is student-centered and has proven himself as a leader,” Sinha said. “He has already started engaging and working together with staff, students and parents to take our high school to the next level.”
Having started out in the Valley Stream School District, Steingruebner has grown to love working in Garden City, and the Freeport native feeds off of what he’s found makes the community and its students so unique.
“I would say what makes Garden City so special is the drive that everyone here has here to succeed. Expectations are very high for everyone in everything. Academics—we do well. Athletics—we do well,” he said. “The volunteer work our students do is above and beyond. It really pushes you to do better and really want to serve to make everything work for everybody. That really inspires and continues to make this place even better than it already is.”