Riverhead superintendent takes leave of absence

In a letter sent home to families, the Board of Education said it accepted Superintendent Dr. Augustine Tornatore's request for a leave of absence.

Jenn Seelig

Oct 6, 2023, 9:14 AM

Updated 198 days ago

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The Riverhead community is left with questions after learning Superintendent Dr. Augustine Tornatore is stepping away from his job.
In a letter sent home to families on Thursday, the Board of Education said it accepted Superintendent Tornatore's request for a leave of absence.
During a special school board meeting on Thursday, the board appointed Dr. William Galati, executive director of secondary education, as acting superintendent effective now until Oct. 23. The letter mentions Tornatore will be using vacation and personal days during that time, but it remains unclear when he will return after that.
“It's such a shame," says Riverhead resident Luke Clarke. "These kids need some direction right now, and we’re not giving it to them."
It's also unclear why Tornatore is stepping away. However, this comes after recently reported incidents in September involving racial slurs at a football game and symbols of hate drawn on desks at the high school.
According to the district's website, Tornatore has served as Riverhead superintendent of schools since July 2021.
The BOE’s next meeting is on Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Riverhead High School auditorium. The board is encouraging the community to attend.


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