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Roelle Is Candidate to Replace Pelham's Longobardi

PELHAM, N.Y. – Robert Roelle, principal of Prospect Hill Elementary School, has emerged as a candidate for the position of Pelham Middle School principal, Pelham Schools Superintendent Dennis Lauro said at a Board of Education meeting Monday night.

The job has been held by Joseph Longobardi for 20 years, but he announced in February that he would retire on June 30.

Roelle has told his staff and the parents of his students that he applied for the position, which had been open only to internal Pelham school candidates, Lauro said.

The process to determine whether Roelle will be selected as the next principal began Monday when he was interviewed by a “representative group of middle school teachers.” They later provided feedback to Lauro and Peter Giarizzo, assistant superintendent for curriculum and personnel.

The Pelham administrators union had a chance to interview Roelle, but waived the opportunity and “put their full support” behind him in a letter, which Lauro received Monday.

Roelle will next be interviewed by a “middle school-site-based team” on Wednesday and then take part in a community forum on April 4 at 7 p.m., Giarizzo said. After the forum, the Pelham Board of Education will interview the possible successor to Longobardi at 7:45 p.m.

In the final step of the process, he will be formally interviewed by Lauro and Giarizzo. “Then after that point, we will take all of that input, and then I will have a recommendation for the board for the April 16 meeting, which may be him or it may be that we decide to open the search,” Lauro said.

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