As his days as Assistant Superintendent for Business in Seaford Public Schools come me to an end this fall, Ken Aldrich is making sure he doesn’t leave any business unfinished.
The top administrator of behind-the-scenes operations manages responsibilities that run the gamut: from making sure the buses run on time, the buildings are clean and warm, employees are well-trained and paid properly, state paperwork is filed correctly, all financial questions from the community are answered, and budgets are properly managed.
Known for his calm, mild-mannered and friendly disposition, Aldrich seems worlds apart from a jaded New Yorker, although he has lived here for18 years. His pleasant personality, hallmarked by a warm greeting and a good story, is infectious, making those around him smile a little brighter and act a little nicer.
When Aldrich leaves, he hopes his colleagues and those in the community will remember him as someone who was open, honest and optimistic.
“My mantra; I live by the Golden Rule, which comes from my early faith,” he said. “I believe in selflessness and working for the benefit of others, and I believe people deserve to be listened to, appreciated and valued.”
Aldrich prides himself on the employees he has hired, trained and watched flourish.
“The seeds that were planted blossomed into wonderful, fruit-bearing trees,” he said of his staff.
The bonds Aldrich developed with his Budget Advisory Committee also make him beam.
“The same people came back every year; we worked as a good team,” he said.
Also topping his list of accomplishments was the December 2007 passage of the voter referendum for the $21.6 million bond issue for the rebuilding of the schools and seeing the new athletic field and music suite come to fruition.
But the feather in his cap, Aldrich said, will come October 16 when residents vote on a referendum to sell the Seaford Avenue School and property to BK at Seaford, LLC, a subsidiary of the Garden City-based real estate development company, The Engel Burman Group, for $5.2 million. The group intends to build 113 housing units, which are expected to sell for $350,000 to $400,000 per unit.
“If we have the Seaford Avenue building sold, that would be the highlight of my work here because that would give voters financial security,” he said. “I’ve been working on it since 2006 and I am excited that voters will have an opportunity to decide on the fate of the property this fall.”
Soon after the vote, Aldrich and his wife of 43 years, Mary, will be enjoying time with their children and grandchildren near Lake Sebago in Maine. Active and fit, he looks forward to bike riding, swimming and playing golf. Professionally, he is lining up consulting opportunities in the education and private sectors.
Aldrich said he always had an open-door policy as the top business official, and on a typical day, he juggled four or five major projects, with the remainder of the day split between school board requests as well as unplanned employee and community needs.
“I always made time in my day to make sure I addressed these things,” he said.