Riverhead school board accepts resignation of superintendent
Riverhead Central School District Superintendent Dr. Augustine Tornatore has resigned following a Board of Education vote Tuesday night.
There was no explanation given for his request to resign or further discussion, which frustrated parents in the district.
“I would just like to know the reasoning behind it. We don’t know if it’s because of all the troubles that have been hitting the district lately. We would just like to know the reason why,” says parent Christine Haines.
Haines and others are asking for transparency after a tumultuous start to the school year.
Parents accused students of calling them racial slurs at the first high school football game of the season. Swastikas were found drawn on desks in the high school before Yom Kippur.
Tim Walter has a 6-year-old at one of the elementary schools. He says his family has also experienced issues around timeliness and safety with transportation.
“My daughter doesn't take the bus home, she gets picked up. She took it home all last year,” Walter says.
Tornatore had asked for a leave of absence earlier this month. It was announced days later that the assistant superintendent was being investigated for accusations of harassment.
The school board announced that Cheryl Pedisich will begin as the new interim superintendent on Monday, Oct. 30. She was previously the superintendent of Three Village Central School District, also in Suffolk County.
A search is beginning for a permanent superintendent.