Dr. Smith Takes Over at JFK


Educator Deborah Smith is the new principal of John F. Kennedy Elementary School, taking over from Aileen O’Rourke, who will now serve as the district’s director of special education and pupil personnel services for grades K-5 and reading for K-12.

Dr. Smith was principal of Connetquot Elementary for the previous six years. Prior to that, she was a teacher at the middle school in 1997-1998 and JFK from 1998-2004 before serving as an assistant principal at the high school and middle school. She served as the district's director of humanities from 2005-2010.

After graduating from West Islip High School, Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in theater from SUNY Binghamton. She received her Master of Science in education and her administration degree from Dowling College. She obtained her doctorate in education from Hofstra University in 2012.

“Making this move to JFK will provide the opportunity for me to deepen as well as share my knowledge of curriculum objectives in grades 3-5,” said Smith, an Islip Terrace resident. “My career in administration began at the secondary level; therefore, due to my varied experiences, I will be able to assist students in making a smooth transition to the middle School. I taught in JFK for six years and I look forward to continue to work on instructional goals with students in the intermediate grades.”