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New principal chosen for West Street

September 20, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — West Street School students will soon have a new principal to guide them.

John Riley will start in the job around Friday, Oct. 1, replacing former principal Joany Santa. District Title I Director Dennis Lataille is serving as the interim principal. Riley, a longtime educator, currently serves as the principal of the Harwich Middle School on Cape Cod.

"I believe he is going to be an excellent fit for us," said School Committee Chairman John Jovan.

Riley started his education career in 1978 as a Special Education teacher in the Worcester Public Schools system where he worked until 1981 when he transitioned to the St. Stephen's Grammar School, also in Worcester. He served there until 1984, and in 1988 become a parish priest at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester until 1992. He left the church that year after the Worcester schools rehired him as a grades 5-6 teacher, until 1999 when he became an assistant principal in the Mountview Middle School in Princeton. He left that job in 2002 to become the assistant principal at Burgess Elementary School in Sturbridge until 2002. From 2002-2008, he was the assistant principal of the Robert E. Melican Middle School in Northborough. In 2008, he went to Harwich.

While Riley could not be reached for comment last week, he revealed his reasons for moving to the new job in his cover letter for the position.

"Due to recent personal and family commitments, I am looking to relocate back to Central Massachusetts," Riley wrote.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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