St. Isidore School in Riverhead will welcome a new principal this fall — and for the first time in its 52-year history, the school won’t be led by a nun.
Helen Anne Livingston will take the helm at the parish school on Aug. 1.
The religious order of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth have taught at the parish elementary school since its founding in 1962 and, until now, have always staffed the principal’s office as well.
Livingston replaces Sr. Linda Chichi, who was employed at St. Isidore’s for 22 years and was reassigned by the parish at the conclusion of the term just ended.
The new principal spoke to parishioners at Sunday masses yesterday and was the guest of honor at a reception following the noon service.
A Long Island native, Livingston grew up in Islip and attended Catholic schools: St. Mary’s and the Academy of St. Joseph, from which she graduated in 1978. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from SUNY Cortland, as well as a certificate in education administration.
Livingston, 53, has had a 25-year education career in public schools. Her most recent post was as superintendent of Roosevelt Children’s Academy Charter School. She worked there for one school year, according to NYS charter school records online.
Prior to that, Livingston was superintendent of Chester UFSCD in Chester, N.Y. from 2006-2009. A school administrator since 1993, Livingston had worked as an assistant principal, a principal and then an assistant superintendent. Before that she taught general and instrumental music.
Livingston told parishioners yesterday she has never worked in a Catholic school and looks forward to doing so as a way to give back to the church community.
“We’re very happy to welcome her,” the Rev. Robert Kuznik, pastor at St. Isidore Church said in an interview yesterday. “This is a new chapter in the lives of the children and the school,” he said. “I’m very confident in her abilities. She has a lot of experience in education and administration.”
Livingston said she looks forward to meeting everyone in the school and parish communities.
She has just relocated to Riverhead, she said, and is enjoying getting to know the area.
Livingston invited parishioners and community members to stop by her office at the school any time during the month of August.