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Aquebogue assistant principal leaves for top job in West Islip

Aquebogue Elementary School assistant principal Vanessa Williams resigned from the district to begin a new administrative post in West Islip this week.

Ms. Williams worked as assistant principal, literacy coach and first and second-grade teacher at Aquebogue for 15 years. The Riverhead Board of Education approved her resignation Aug. 27.

Ms. Williams, 42, was named principal of Manetuck Elementary School in West Islip School District last month.

The Selden resident said she’s grateful that Aquebogue has allowed her to grow professionally.

“I have been honored to work with this wonderful school family,” she said. “We were always grounded in teamwork and rigorous curriculum. So, for that, I will always be thankful for Riverhead.”

After applying for administrative positions, Ms. Williams said her path was directed to West Islip — a district that shares her beliefs and ideologies on student growth. She plans to “embrace” the school’s technology initiative and advance the program in Manetuck.

“Sometimes in life you don’t know where you’re going to be planted. You just have to be ready,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to growing with the students, families and colleagues once again in a new district.”

Ms. Williams previously taught second grade at P.S. 9 Ryer Avenue Elementary School in the Bronx and second-grade summer school at Hempstead Union Free School District.

She said she met former Aquebogue principal Phil Kent at a job fair and joined the district later that same year.

Ms. Williams earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Winthrop University in South Carolina.

In 2001, after helping a friend teach at a vacation Bible school at Christ Baptist Church in Coram, she said she decided to pursue education. She completed a master’s degree in childhood education at Adelphi University in 2003 and received project leader dual certification from St. John’s University in 2017 while working at Aquebogue.

“I wish Aquebogue Elementary School, principal Bryan Miltenberg and all of Riverhead the absolute best,” Ms. Williams said.

Superintendent Aurelia Henriquez said in a statement that Ms. Williams has been a “wonderful asset” to the district and “we wish her the very best in her future endeavors.”

Dr. Henriquez said district officials hope to have a new assistant principal at Aquebogue “in the near future.” She added that the district will keep the school community updated on their progress in finding someone to fill the position.

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