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Smithtown Schools Fill Assistant Superintendent Position With Port Jeff Administrator

Maria Rianna, former deputy superintendent for the Port Jefferson School District, will take over as Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Administration for the Smithtown Central School District.

The Smithtown Central School District has chosen its replacement for the recently retired Mary Cahill, the assistant superintendent for instruction and administration, in Maria Rianna, the deputy superintendent of the Port Jefferson School District.

, Rianna will officially be a part of the Smithtown Central School District on Aug. 1.

Patch recently caught up with Rianna to discuss her move from Port Jefferson to Smithtown, pressure to take over a position formerly occupied by someone with nearly four decades in the district, and more.

Patch: What prompted your decision to go from the Port Jefferson School District to the Smithtown Central School District?

Rianna: It’s my home district; I live in Nesconset … I lived in the Smithtown/Nesconset area since 1993.

P: Was it a tough decision to make to leave?

R: Yes it was, but I felt it was a wonderful opportunity to work in my home district and to work with what I understand is a wonderful staff.

P: You are filling the shoes of Mary Cahill, who recently retired after being in the school district for 39 years. Does that add any pressure to you?

R: I have some big shoes to fill, she has been wonderful since I have been board approved to help me begin the transition to Smithtown and she has extended the invitation to work with her as I move into the position permanently.

P: What is your fondest memory during your time with the Port Jefferson School District?

R: I have many fond memories that I’m taking with me, memories of watching my group of students do well in the forensic competition, reading to my elementary staff, being interviewed by my middle school students as part of their projects – I could go on-and-on. It’s very bittersweet, I’ve had many, many good memories here, and I look forward to having many more with the students in Smithtown.

Marion Knott July 14, 2011 at 12:21 PM
Your "headline" retiree" is misleading. She hasn't retired, she is moving from one job to another. Mary Cahill is a fine person. I subbed for her many years ago when she was a special ed. teacher, then she went on to be a principal and then her final job. Why are you comparing her to this person who probably just as fine. She most likely was a teacher for years before her present job in Port Jeff. Give her a break. I have nothing to gain by my comment. Just have your headline person look at what they have written.
Roe DeGuara July 14, 2011 at 12:39 PM
Great choice Smithtown. Very happy about gaining this person to our schools. She is PERFECT for the position and will do a fantastic job. Looking forward to her work here.
One Opinion July 14, 2011 at 01:44 PM
Mary Cahill did retire from the Smithtown school district. She announced her retirement in December and her retirement was recongized and one of the last June 2011 BOE meetings. I wish the new assistant superintendent for instruction and administration good luck and I hope she took a pay cut to come here.
Peter Verry (Editor) July 14, 2011 at 03:00 PM
Marion Knott, If you are referring to Maria Rianna you are correct and the headline has been changed. Rianna signed a letter of resignation, she did not retire.
Marion Knott July 14, 2011 at 04:13 PM
Why should she take a pay cut? She deserves whatever salary for the position she took. Mary was a lovely person. Good luck to the new person. All of my kids were educated in Smithtown and now we are down to four grandchildren in the Smithtown schools. I worked at Dogwood. Maybe I'm prejudiced but when my husband was Hauppauge Supt. of Schools, his district was the greatest. Really!
Connie Minervini December 15, 2011 at 02:50 PM
I am very impressed with Maria Rianna's work for our School District. Smithtown is very lucky to have her. She is very respected by the Smithtown students. I see the kids looking up to her. She has a way of speaking to them and gets a positive response. I myself admire the respect she has for the special needs children. Welcome to our district Maria. We are very lucky to have you here!!

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