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School Veteran Named Superintendent

The Glen Cove school board announced at its Feb. 25 meeting that Maria L. Rianna, a veteran educational administrator, has been appointed superintendent, replacing Joseph A. Laria, who has retired. Rianna’s appointment becomes effective July 1.

“All seven of us board members are excited about the recommendation,” said Board President Joel Sunshine. “We were quite thrilled with the candidate pool as many qualified people were presented to us. Rianna has vast knowledge and experience in all areas of educational management and operations. She is very strong in curriculum, and demonstrated to us that she is not only smart and decisive, but a wonderful human being. We felt she embodied every one of the characteristics described as desirable by our community members. She is the right fit for Glen Cove and we look forward to working with her to accomplish great things for our children.” 

Sunshine added that they had expected the search to take longer, but once the board members had agreed that they had found they person, they wanted to hire her immediately.

Trustee David Huggins said that, though he had a plane to catch later in the evening, he wanted to make sure he was present for the vote, which was unanimous. He left shortly after the recommendation was passed.

A veteran educator and administrator, Rianna has successfully served as an assistant/deputy superintendent since 2000. 

Since 2011, Rianna has been the assistant superintendent for instruction and administration for the Smithtown Central School District, in charge of all aspects of the K-12 instructional program in a district comprised of 13 schools. Her additional responsibilities include the creation and supervision of the district budget pertaining to program; supervision and evaluation of all building and district-level curriculum administrators; implementation of all professional development; and participation in negotiations of labor agreements. 

“I am honored to be the next superintendent of the Glen Cove School District. My thanks go out to each and every board member for showing faith in me to lead this school system at a time when new Common Core Standards are being implemented and challenges in public education become more complex,” said Rianna. 

Prior to Smithtown, she served as assistant superintendent and later deputy superintendent of the Port Jefferson School District. With similar responsibilities as those held in Smithtown, following her promotion to deputy, Rianna’s role expanded to include recruitment of instructional staff, participation and input into district capital projects and assisting the superintendent of schools in all aspects of district operations. 

Rianna also served as director of special education for the William Floyd School District, responsible for a $15 million special education budget and charged with the task of aligning the special education curriculum with the ever-evolving, more rigorous New York State standards. 

She also served as both the assistant director for special education as well as the coordinator for ELA, Reading, Preschool and Special Grants in the Patchogue-Medford School District where she taught elementary special education and later developed master schedules and coordinated pupil personnel services as dean of students at the middle and high school levels. Rianna began her career as an assistant special education teacher at Herricks High School in 1982. 

This spring Rianna anticipates completing her doctoral program at Hofstra University, where she also completed her business administrator’s certification. She earned her professional diploma from C.W. Post and received both her masters and bachelor degrees from Adelphi University.

The board also awarded a bid to Nickerson Corp. in the amount of $131,384.71 for the high school lockers, as lowest responsible bidder meeting the specifications summarized in the bid analysis. The board has said at past meetings that they expect the project to get started in June, as soon as spring sports are over, to be ready for the fall season.