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New assistant principal appointed at Pulaski Street School

The Riverhead school board has unanimously appointed Callan Lonergan as assistant principal of Pulaski Street School.

Ms. Lonergan replaces former assistant principal Patrick Burke. She will join the district Dec. 2 at an annual salary of $130,536, according to district records.

The West Islip resident recently celebrated her 16th year as an elementary school teacher in the Bethpage School District. She previously served as a teacher-mentor and currently teaches second grade..

She graduated from Adelphi University with a degree in communications and earned a dual master’s in special education and elementary education from Brooklyn College. She completed her educational leadership with distinction in 2016 through Mercy College.

Ms. Lonergan said she plans to bring her experience in special education to Pulaski, along with a focus on social and emotional learning.

“It’s hard to summarize, but essentially it’s that great cognitive growth occurs through social interaction,” she said. “It’s flexible, and there’s focus on language — so when you’re speaking to children, you’re understanding their parents, their families and where they’re coming from.”

In December 2018, Superintendent Aurelia Henriquez announced that Pulaski had been designated a “targeted support and improvement school” by to the State Education Department. Four other schools in the district were placed in “good standing” at that time.

Pulaski principal Dave Densieski said Tuesday night there is a lot of work that needs to be done with regard to the designation. He feels that Ms. Lonergan can help advance the school. (Mr. Densieski later in the week was reassigned to the district offices for undisclosed reasons. Read more here.)

During the search for a new assistant principal, Mr. Densieski said, he wanted to find “a new, fresh set of eyes and perspective.”

“That’s what Callan really has brought to the table,” he said. “As the process was going on, I really liked some of her fresh ideas, new ways to look at things.”

Mr. Densieski said he’s worked as principal for so long that he’s familiar with the school. Bringing Ms. Lonergan in will provide alternative options for how to move forward.

“I felt really excited that that’s what she’s going to bring to the table,” he said. “I think that’s what the school needs, that’s what I need. So, I’m really looking forward to it.”

Photo caption: Callan Lonergan. (Credit: Kate Nalepinski)

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