Riverhead Middle School's new assistant principal, Colleen O'Hara. Courtesy photo: Riverhead Central School District

Riverhead Middle School welcomes a new assistant principal this fall.

Colleen O’Hara comes to the district from the Hewlett-Woodmere Union Free School District, where she served as principal of Hewlett Elementary School for the past four years and assistant principal for five years before that. She previously served for six years as the assistant principal of Woodmere Middle School after teaching at the middle school for two years. O’Hara began her teaching career as an English teacher for nine years at Hicksville Middle School for grades seven and eight.

Altogether, O’Hara has 28 years of experience in education, including 18 years at the middle level as a teacher and administrator and 16 years in building level administration at both the middle and elementary levels.

O’Hara will work with work with Riverhead’s new middle school principal, Joseph Pesqueira, who was hired in that post last month, succeeding Stephen Hudson, who moved to Phillips Avenue School following the retirement of longtime prinicipal Debra Rodgers in June.

“As a leader, she has always strived to foster a positive school culture where all members—students, staff and families—feel valued and are recognized for their unique and impactful contributions to the school,” the district said in a press release. “Through her commitment to this vision and valuable experience in education, Dr. O’Hara will be a driving force for educational excellence in Riverhead Middle School. The Riverhead Central School District is thrilled to have her on board.”

O’Hara completed her doctoral studies in instructional leadership at St. John’s University in 2019. She also holds an advanced graduate certificate in educational leadership from Stony Brook University, a Master of Science in elementary education from Long Island University and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in secondary education from Siena College. 

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.