Riverhead School District

Connelly elected president of Riverhead BOE; middle school principal moves to Phillips Avenue

The Riverhead Central School District Board of Education shuffled roles during its reorganizational meeting Tuesday, the first of the 2022-2023 school year.

Brian Connelly was elected BOE president for upcoming year. He was the sole nomination for the position out of the seven board trustees. He was nominated by previous board president, Laurie Downs. He was voted in unanimously.

This is the first year of Mr. Connelly’s second three-year term on the BOE.

Ms. Downs was elected as the board’s new vice president.

She also was the sole nomination for the position and was nominated by Mr. Connelly. Her position was approved in a 6-1 vote, with Christopher Dorr casting the lone vote in opposition.

Ms. Downs is serving her third term on the school board. She also joined board trustee Matthew Wallace, who had previously served as the board’s vice president, to take the oath of office after they were both reelected to their three-year seats on the board earlier this spring.


Stephen Hudson, who had been principal at Riverhead Middle School, will move to Phillips Avenue Elementary School to replace the recently retired Debra Rodgers. Ms. Rodgers’ tenure came to an end at the conclusion of the school year. She had spent 18 years in the district.

Laura Arcuri will replace Mr. Hudson as the interim middle school principal. She was previously an assistant principal at the middle school. The term runs from July 11 through Aug. 9, according to a personnel report.

The changes were among nearly 300 the board voted to approve as part of the full personnel report for the new year. See the full list on the district website.


Tuesday marked the first meeting for new assistant superintendent for business, Rodney Asse.

The board approved his hiring in May. His appointment fills the void that was left by outgoing assistant superintendent Sam Schneider, who had been on administrative leave since October and submitted his formal resignation March 1. The position had been held on an interim basis by Faith Caglianone.

According to the meeting agenda, Mr. Asse will also be taking on the position of purchasing agent since previous purchasing agent, Janette Velardi, is now the new district treasurer. That role for Mr. Asse is expected to be temporary until a new purchasing agent is hired. Mr. Asse will not receive additional compensation for the role, according to superintendent Augustine Tornatore.

The meeting was also the first for William Galati in his new position as executive director of secondary education, grants and student outcomes.

Mr. Galati was promoted to the new role in April after the district’s assistant superintendent, Christine Tona, resigned after she was hired in the upstate Mahopac School District. His new role will encompass some of Ms. Tona’s duties related to curriculum.

Representatives from the district’s new legal counsel, Guercio and Guercio LLP were also at the meeting. The district’s legal counsel for the 2021-2022 school year had been Ingerman Smith, L.L.P., according to the district’s July 2021 reorganization meeting.

New website

The district announced that it launched a revamped website on July 1. The revamping of the website comes months after the district suffered a ransomware attack in early December.

“We are very happy with the launching of the [new] website, but I do want to share as well that it will be tweaked over the summer as we are going to continue to work with our administrative team to update the new website, but so far we have received positive feedback,” Mr. Tornatore said.