By Holly Crocco
After more than three decades of supporting students in academics, athletics, the arts and other pursuits, Carmel High School Principal Lou Riolo was the one being cheered on during a surprise pep rally held last week in his honor.
Riolo, a CHS graduate, has been employed at the school for more than 31 years – first as a social studies teacher for 26 years, then as principal for the past five years. He announced his resignation earlier this year, stating that he has accepted a position as assistant superintendent at Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES.
On Nov. 26, students, alumni, staff and family filled the high school gymnasium for the “Riolo Rally,” where many shared touching tributes and fond memories of the longtime educator.
“For 31 years you have given us a reason to celebrate, and made a difference in thousands of lives including mine,” said teacher Paul Brennan. “Your career goes far beyond social studies or being a principal… Please know, no handshake went unnoticed, no hug unappreciated.”
After announcing his resignation earlier this year, Carmel Schools Superintendent Andy Irvin said Riolo leaves behind big shoes to fill.
“Few in the education field have been as dedicated to a single school district as has Lou,” said Irvin. “Yet, as superintendent of schools, there is nothing I want more for Lou than to see him advance his career to the next level.”
An interim principal will be appointed from within the current administrative team for the remainder of the school year, while a search for a new CHS chief is conducted. It is hoped that a new principal will be hired in the spring with a July 1 start date, said Irvin.