John B. Russo has been named acting principal of Park Avenue Elementary School, following the resignation of Principal Sandra Wood, who has accepted a role elsewhere in Orange County.
Wood has been Park Avenue’s principal since 2013 and has been with the district for well over a decade.
“In addition to academic excellence, Mrs. Wood has always put the safety, emotional and social wellbeing of students as concurrent, critically important priorities,” said Superintendent Dr. David Leach. “She insisted on a climate and culture where students felt safe, known and engaged in meaningful learning. We are grateful for her commitment to our students, their families and Park Avenue’s faculty and staff. We wish her much success and professional fulfillment in her future endeavors.”
Russo first joined the Warwick Valley School District in 1974 as a middle school physical education teacher. Since that time, he served thousands of middle students as assistant principal for two years and as principal for 13 years. In addition, Russo was the district’s director of human resources and safety. He retired in 2015.
Russo recently returned to the district. Since mid-September, he has been serving as the middle school’s interim associate principal as the recruitment process for a new associate principal continues. A recruitment process for Park Avenue’s new principal will begin soon.