The Riverhead Middle School principal, Andrea Pekar, is leaving her position this Friday after 28 years in the district.
Ms. Pekar has accepted a position as assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction within the Amityville Union Free School District.
“Riverhead schools are a special place,” Ms. Pekar said in an email. “Despite being a large community, we are still very small at heart. The students and the families are the heartbeat of what we do as educators each day. I will miss the students, their smiles, their eagerness and their energy.”
Ms. Pekar started her career as a coach and a teacher’s aide for the Riverhead School District in September of 1988 while getting her bachelors at St. Joseph’s College. She was the varsity softball coach and a substitute teacher until she was hired as a probationary English teacher in 1994. She also coached field hockey prior to being named assistant principal at Riverhead High School in 2000. Just two years later, she became principal at Riverhead Middle School.
She attended Riverhead schools herself and was also on the field hockey and softball team in high school.
“It was a blessing to be able to have such an amazing career with people I have known since childhood,” she said. “To be able to grow up and professionally climb the ladder in my home district has been something I will never forget. I’ve received nothing but support from my peers and families that I’ve had over several generations.”
After 16 years as the middle school principal, she feels her experience has prepared her to move into an administration role in a district that is actually quite similar to Riverhead, even though Amityville is half the size.
“Demographically it’s quite similar and the educators there, including the superintendent and school board, want what’s best for each child within that district, just like Riverhead,” Ms. Pekar said.
When asked what she thought her legacy was, she said that she has always tried her best to instill the thought that students can do anything they put their mind to.
“Many students I’ve had over many years have already come back to thank me for never giving up on them,” Ms. Pekar said. “My goal each day at the RMS was to create an atmosphere where students were safe to be whoever or whatever they wanted to be.”
She is looking forward to the challenge of starting a new position.
“I’m looking forward to meeting new people and making relationships with the students and professionals just as I did in Riverhead over the last 28 years,” she said.