The Glen Cove Board of Education voted 7-0 in favor of hiring its choice for the district's next superintendent at its meeting Monday.
Maria Rianna, assistant superintendent of Smithtown schools since 2011 and deputy superintendent of Port Jefferson schools before that, was first pick of all Board members, according to president Joel Sunshine.
The decision comes several weeks earlier than it had been planned for, in March.
"We were quite thrilled with the candidate pool, actually. Many qualified people were proffered to us, and the Board -- really all seven of us as individuals -- all had one first choice," Sunshine said. "We had a candidate that we loved and we wanted to hire her immediately."
He said she embodied the qualities both the Board and residents' input were looking for. He called Rianna "strong, smart, decisive and sensitive" and said she came highly recommended.
"But most importantly, it's the human being she is that the seven of us really appreciated," said Sunshine.
Superintendent Joseph Laria commended the Board for "due diligence" and pledged his full support for a transition that will allow Rianna to "hit the ground running" on July 1.
Laria announced in October that he would resign effective June 30. He said he made the decision early in the year to give the Board time to find a replacement and to ease the transition.
Sunshine thanked Bob Freier and Joann Kaplan of District Wise Search Consultants, the firm hired to find candidates. Sunshine said Freier and Kaplan, who have both served on school boards before, allowed the Board to make its own decision with the proper tools and from an exemplary group of candidates.
Rianna thanked the Board for the appointment and said she was stepping into big shoes.
"I'm looking forward to working with my administrative team, with the teachers, with the community, the parents, and helping our students realize their vision as they move through the Glen Cove schools," Rianna said.