The Council of School Superintendents

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John Henry Bennett, Executive Director 1974

John Henry Bennett succeeded Edward L. Osborne and was executive director for 17 years leaving many indelible marks of the shape of The Council. Bennett had been an assistant superintendent and a Federal grant program administrator in Suffolk County. The two annual conferences grew in both stature and attendance, relationships were established with the many vendors who sold goods and services to school districts and exhibited at Council events, and The Council developed a high level of access and influence in the State Education Department that persists to this day.

In 1974, Bennett and The Council successfully advocated special legislation to eliminate tenure for supervising principals in exchange for changing their titles to superintendents. Now all of the members of The Council had the title of superintendent. As a result of the merger, and the subsequent legislation, he slowly built the membership to include nearly every superintendent in the state. Not long after, the organization changed its name back to the New York State Council of School Superintendents.

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