Dr. Keith T. Levatino (right) addresses a recent Connected Schools event at Little Falls High School while Rome City School District Superintendent Peter Blake looks on.

by Dave Warner

Dr. Keith T. Levatino, Superintendent of the Little Falls City School District, has been appointed by Governor Kathy Hochul to the Council for the State University of New York Polytechnic Institute for a term to expire on June 30, 2024.

Levatino said that this all started about a year ago when Senator Schumer was in Little Falls. “He asked me what was going on in the school because he’s very interested in what is happening here. I started talking to him about all of the partnerships that we’ve established, and I mentioned SUNY Poly.”

According to Levatino, Schumer is a real SUNY advocate. “I told him that I had recently talked to a friend from Plattsburg where I went to college about what it meant to be on the college’s council.”

He said that the next thing he knew, Schumer had written a very nice endorsement letter that was sent to the Governor’s office with a copy going to the SUNY Chancellor.

“I had his nomination, and the next thing I started getting was information back from SUNY saying that I’d been endorsed and supported. Dr. Joseph from SUNY Poly wrote a letter of recommendation, and it all started moving very quickly.”

Levatino said that the next thing he knew, he was filling out paperwork, was getting calls, and because it was a Governor’s appointment, he was put through a background check, “right down to my socks.”

“I’m all excited, and next thing you know, five or six months go by, and you don’t hear anything. All of a sudden, I got an email saying that I would be receiving a hard copy letter in the mail. It was the letter from the Governor who appointed me to the college council,” he stated.

Levatino said that each SUNY four-year institution has a college council made up of nine appointed member adults and one student representative.

“My next step is to hear from them to invite me to the college formally. My term has already begun, and it goes until 2024, but it’s normally a seven-year term,” he stated

However, Levatino is serving out a portion of someone else’s term, which will end in 2024, at which time he should begin his seven-year appointment.

“From my understanding, it’s a bit like our board of education. You help with decisions, hiring, and the whole bit. You have quarterly meetings, and they really need you to be a liaison from the college to the community, which, as you know, is right up my alley.”

Levatino believes that his appointment will do a lot for the Little Falls district. “That’s always my angle. We already have a lot of partnerships, but if I can get more from them to help our kids, you can bet I’m going to do it.”