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Pelham Principal's Retirement Celebration Thursday

PELHAM, N.Y. – Parents, teachers and staff of the Pelham School District are set to say goodbye to retiring Middle School Principal Joseph Longobardi from 6-8 p.m. Thursday.

The PTA-sponsored event has parents speaking highly of the 20-year principal on the “Friends of Pelham Schools Facebook” page.

“Joe is fantastic – a true professional and respected leader,” said Kristin Walker Bidwell, who had two kids go through Pelham Middle School and two others currently at Colonial Elementary School. She has worked with Longobardi on several school councils and gotten to know him through experiences with her own children.

Bidwell said she could not emphasize how much of a respected leader Longobardi is.

“I recently came across a list of traits of good leaders – they include integrity, dedication, openness, magnanimity, humility, fairness, assertiveness, honesty, and creativity,” Bidwell said. “In my opinion, he embodies every one – and you can see evidence of that in how well the middle school is run and how well his faculty functions.”

Through Longobardi’s 39 years in education, he has served Pelham as a teacher and then principal at Hutchinson Elementary, Colonial Elementary and Siwanoy Elementary schools before becoming the head of Pelham Middle School in 1993.

He will retire as Pelham Middle School principal effective June 30 and Robert Roelle , who currently is the Prospect Hill Elementary principal, will begin his new role July 1. Longobardi will serve in an advisory role to him during the coming school year.

The celebration will take place at the Pelham Middle School courtyard, 28 Franklin Place.

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