The Great Neck Public Schools welcomed new principals at the John L. Miller–Great Neck North High School and the William A. Shine–Great Neck South High School. Daniel Holtzman is the new principal at North High, having earned the position upon the retirement of Bernard Kaplan. Christopher Gitz returns to South High, his alma mater, as principal, replacing Susan Elliot, who also retired.
Holtzman brings 20 years of education experience that includes 12 as an administrator. Before coming to Great Neck, Holtzman was principal of Shoreham-Wading River High School for nine years from 2008 to 2017 and assistant principal for two from 2006 to 2008. He also served one year as assistant principal at William Floyd High School from 2005 to 2006. The principal began his career in education as a social studies teacher, then advanced to instructional specialist for curriculum, grades 9 to 12, in the Smithtown Central School District from 1997 to 2005.
Holtzman sought to become North High’s principal as he feels it will afford him “the opportunity to work in a district and a community that not only values education, but also has a stellar reputation for academic success.” As North’s new principal, he said that it “is important that I observe, listen, ask questions and learn the culture of the building before establishing goals for the school’s future. I want to be a part of the continued and future growth of North High both academically and from a social-emotional standpoint. It is also critical that our students feel safe and welcomed, and that they possess a sense of security within themselves.”
Although principal for only a few weeks, Holtzman finds that, from the start, “North High has been very welcoming and supportive of me. I could not have asked for a smoother transition to the role here and I am honored to serve as principal.”
North High’s new principal is currently enrolled in a doctoral program in administration and supervision at St. John’s University. He received a master of liberal arts and sciences and a bachelor of arts in social sciences from Stony Brook University State University of New York. He is a Future Superintendent’s Academy Fellow and holds permanent New York State certification in School District Administration and Social Studies Grades 7–12.
Dr. Gitz’s educational experience spans more than two decades. Just prior to coming to South High, Dr. Gitz was principal of Lindenhurst High School from 2014 to 2017. Before that, he was assistant principal of Smithtown High School West from 2012 to 2014, K–12 supervisor of mathematics in the Oyster Bay–East Norwich Central School District from 2009 to 2012, assistant principal at Half Hollow Hills High School East from 2004 to 2009, and a mathematics teacher at Harborfields High School from 2001 to 2004 and Valley Stream North High School from 1996 to 2001. He has also been an adjunct associate professor at St. John’s University and New York Institute of Technology, and an adjunct professor at Nassau Community College.
The new principal finds South High to be “rich in history and tradition with an established reputation of excellence in education. I consider it an honor and a privilege to be South’s next principal. Being a product of the Great Neck Public Schools and a 1990 graduate of South High, I am very excited about giving back to the community and school district that has provided me and my family with so much throughout my life. I look forward to working with the students, faculty, staff and community to provide the students of South High with an educational experience that continues to be outstanding and to continue the already established high standards of excellence.” He also hopes “to further provide opportunities for students to maximize their involvement and engagement in the school community, and to provide them with the equal opportunity for academic and social success.”
Dr. Gitz said, “Everyone has been so friendly and welcoming. It gives me such a great feeling to know that I have become part of something wonderful.”
South’s new principal holds a doctor of education in administration and leadership from St. John’s University. He received a master of science in mathematics education from LIU Brookville and a bachelor of business administration in accounting from Hofstra University. He holds New York State permanent certifications as a School District Business Administrator, School District Administrator and Mathematics Grades 7–12.