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School Veteran Named Superintendent

The Glen Cove school board announced at its Feb. 25 meeting that Maria L. Rianna, a veteran educational administrator, has been appointed superintendent, replacing Joseph A. Laria, who has retired. Rianna’s appointment becomes effective July 1.

“All seven of us board members are excited about the recommendation,” said Board President Joel Sunshine. “We were quite thrilled with the candidate pool as many qualified people were presented to us. Rianna has vast knowledge and experience in all areas of educational management and operations. She is very strong in curriculum, and demonstrated to us that she is not only smart and decisive, but a wonderful human being. We felt she embodied every one of the characteristics described as desirable by our community members. She is the right fit for Glen Cove and we look forward to working with her to accomplish great things for our children.” 

Sunshine added that they had expected the search to take longer, but once the board members had agreed that they had found they person, they wanted to hire her immediately.

Trustee David Huggins said that, though he had a plane to catch later in the evening, he wanted to make sure he was present for the vote, which was unanimous. He left shortly after the recommendation was passed.

A veteran educator and administrator, Rianna has successfully served as an assistant/deputy superintendent since 2000. 

Since 2011, Rianna has been the assistant superintendent for instruction and administration for the Smithtown Central School District, in charge of all aspects of the K-12 instructional program in a district comprised of 13 schools. Her additional responsibilities include the creation and supervision of the district budget pertaining to program; supervision and evaluation of all building and district-level curriculum administrators; implementation of all professional development; and participation in negotiations of labor agreements. 

“I am honored to be the next superintendent of the Glen Cove School District. My thanks go out to each and every board member for showing faith in me to lead this school system at a time when new Common Core Standards are being implemented and challenges in public education become more complex,” said Rianna. 

Prior to Smithtown, she served as assistant superintendent and later deputy superintendent of the Port Jefferson School District. With similar responsibilities as those held in Smithtown, following her promotion to deputy, Rianna’s role expanded to include recruitment of instructional staff, participation and input into district capital projects and assisting the superintendent of schools in all aspects of district operations. 

Rianna also served as director of special education for the William Floyd School District, responsible for a $15 million special education budget and charged with the task of aligning the special education curriculum with the ever-evolving, more rigorous New York State standards. 

She also served as both the assistant director for special education as well as the coordinator for ELA, Reading, Preschool and Special Grants in the Patchogue-Medford School District where she taught elementary special education and later developed master schedules and coordinated pupil personnel services as dean of students at the middle and high school levels. Rianna began her career as an assistant special education teacher at Herricks High School in 1982. 

This spring Rianna anticipates completing her doctoral program at Hofstra University, where she also completed her business administrator’s certification. She earned her professional diploma from C.W. Post and received both her masters and bachelor degrees from Adelphi University.

The board also awarded a bid to Nickerson Corp. in the amount of $131,384.71 for the high school lockers, as lowest responsible bidder meeting the specifications summarized in the bid analysis. The board has said at past meetings that they expect the project to get started in June, as soon as spring sports are over, to be ready for the fall season.

News

If Heather Lehrman is not yet a familiar face to local pet owners, her name is likely to soon become a household name to dog lovers and families with young children, as her children’s book, Bullied at the Dog Park, was released this week. The book is based on a real-life incident with her own dog, Herbie, and fans will have a chance to meet her and Herbie at a book signing at Petco in Glen Cove on Saturday, Oct. 25.

 

“I wanted to help get the message out in my own way about the effects of bullying,” says Lehrman, a resident of Great Neck. “This book teaches children valuable lessons about treating all dogs (and people) with respect, and the importance of simple kindness.”

It was Dec. 31, 1999, the last day of the 20th century, and Florence Dolling was preparing an elaborate Thai dinner for a New Year’s Eve celebration in her home in Glen Cove when the phone rang.  It was her doctor reporting that, “Yes, it was breast cancer.” She kept on cooking, attempting to retain as much normalcy as she could muster, knowing that, with the new millennium, there would certainly come change.

 

“I wore a red strapless bustier for the party because I thought I was saying goodbye to the ‘girls’,” she says. “My husband, my sense of humor, and my friends, helped me get through that night,” she recalls.


Sports

On Tuesday, Oct. 7, the Glen Cove Finley Middle School opened their football season with a home game against Thompson Middle School. The game opened with the Glen Cove offense going on a nice drive, which saw quarterback Mike Vaughan score on a 30-yard touchdown run. 

Six North Shore High School athletes competed in the 2014 JCC Maccabi Games and led the New York Delegation to victory, winning gold. The students included Jacob Abramowitz, Brett Bennett, Drew Jacklin, Ben Lerner, Josh Mandell, and Ben Saltzman. The Maccabi Games is a week-long Olympic tournament for Jewish teenage athletes, ages 14-16 years old. It is held in numerous venues across the United States. 

 

Bennett proudly said, “Competing in the Maccabi Games was a unique and thrilling experience for me. It not only was a highly competitive basketball tournament, but it also emphasized the importance of building strong values such as good sportsmanship, leadership, team unity, compassion and respect.

This, for me, was an experience of a lifetime!” 


Calendar

PTA Meeting - October 15

Live Music - October 16

Wine Tasting - October 17


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com