Letter to the Editor - The Millerton News - 6-23-22
Handler will be missed by many
Over the last nine years, Pine Plains Central School District has benefited from the strong leadership of superintendent Dr. Martin Handler. When he began his tenure in the summer of 2013, our district’s academic standing was one of the lowest in the county. Labor negotiations were at a standstill with two of our three unions, and the community had shown its displeasure with the district by voting down the budget in prior years. Within months of starting his new role. Dr. Handler had settled the outstanding contracts with the unions and put himself out in the community so that he could hear from residents. Perhaps most importantly, he advocated heavily to the board for a 1:1 initiative, which put electronic devices in the hands of every student in our district. Pine Plains led the county in creating this program, and it benefited our students immensely during the pandemic. It has taken time, but our district is now in the top third academically in the county, thanks to Dr. Handler’s guidance throughout the years.
What many people don’t realize about Dr. Handler are just how much he does for both the district and the community at large. He is a certified bus driver who has stepped up on multiple occasions to drive students when we are short-staffed. He refereed the modified soccer teams for several years when there weren’t enough referees. He has been the voice of the varsity football team throughout his tenure, announcing all the home games. He volunteered countless hours of his own time to certify staff, students, and the public in CPR. He is a member of both the Pine Plains Lions Club and the fire department rescue squad. Most important, he makes a point of knowing his students, and goes out of his way to try to make their lives better.
In a few short weeks, Dr. Handler will be moving out of the area to be closer to his grandchildren. His departure is going to leave a hole in our community that will be felt by many, but especially our school district for whom he gave so much. On behalf of the Pine Plains Central School District Board of Education, I would like to say congratulations to Dr. Handler on his retirement. We will miss you.
Anne K. Arent
President, Board of Education
Central School District