The Warwick Valley School District has hired a familiar name to lead Pine Island Elementary School this new school year: Dr. Marijane Reinhard, a Warwick resident who had served the district for 22 years before her retirement in 2013, has been named acting principal.
Reinhard was the district’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instructional services from 2000 to 2013. Previously, from 1992 to 2000, she was the district’s director of pupil personnel services. She was hired by the district in 1991 to serve as chairperson of the Committee on Special Education after serving eight years as a principal at the Orange Ulster BOCES Main Street School in Goshen and eight years as a teacher for students with special needs in Ulster County.
“The Warwick Valley School District is pleased to bring back one of our administrators who has top-level credentials, is familiar with many of our educators, and is well-known in our community,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. David Leach. “Dr. Reinhard is an excellent addition to our Pine Island school, and we look forward to what she will bring to our kindergarten students and their families.”
She replaces John Russo, who retired after serving as the school’s acting principal for one year. Pine Island Elementary was reopened as a kindergarten school in 2020 as part of the district’s mission to reopen school buildings to as many students as possible and as early as allowed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Opening the school provided the School District with enough capacity for socially distanced, full-time, in-person instruction for kindergarten at Pine Island, as well as first-grade and second-grade at Park Avenue and Sanfordville elementary schools. The building was last used as a school in 2011.
Remaining active professionally in retirement, Reinhard had been serving as Supervisor of Student Teachers at Mount Saint Mary College, a position she recently took a leave of absence from to become Acting Principal at Pine Island Elementary. She had also served in interim administrative positions for the Kingston City School District, the Pine Bush Central School District, and the Minisink Valley Central School District. In addition, she was Program Administrator at Field of Dreams Preschool in Slate Hill.
“I wanted a change and a challenge, and this position will be challenging, and it is definitely a change,” she said. “I had great experiences and worked with good people. So, when they asked me to come back, it wasn’t a hard decision.
“I am used to the diverse learning styles of students and teaching methods at all levels, including kindergarten,” she added. “I am also looking forward to working with the Pine Island Elementary teachers and staff, many of whom I am familiar with from when I was in the district eight years ago.”