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Pound Ridge Principal to Retire in July

After a career spanning more than 32 years, Pound Ridge Elementary School Principal Peter Politi will be retiring at the end of the school year.

“I am getting anxious because it’s getting close,” said Politi, 55, whose tenure ends in July.

Politi came to Pound Ridge in 2006 after spending much of his career in his hometown of Newburgh, where he still resides. He started out as a social studies teacher in South Jr. High School in Newburgh. He was then transferred to the high school where an administrator there took Politi under his wing.

“He suggested I become an administrator, but I was coaching sports at the time and you can’t do both because of the time commitment,” Politi said. “I wanted to keep coaching, so he suggested I start taking courses to [eventually] become an administrator. He arranged for me to take an internship and I ended up loving it.”

His first administrative job was with Balmville Elementary in Newburgh. He was eventually moved to a junior high school, but he discovered his heart was with working with elementary-aged students.

“I really liked working with the little kids,” he said. “At the time, my own kids were that age, so it was complimentary to my life.”

When an elementary school job opened in Mahopac, he left Newburgh to take it.

“I was drawn there by a superintendent who I really liked, who I had worked with previously,” Politi said.

In 2006, he made the move to Pound Ridge and was immediately embraced by the town.

“I was very warmly received [by the community],” he said. “As far as the kids go, I found that no matter where you are, they all want to do well. They want to please their parents, please their teachers. That’s the joy of this job.”

Politi said one of the things that has impressed him the most during his tenure in Pound Ridge is the community participation at the school.

“This really is the community school,” he said. “It’s the only school in town. The PTA is tremendously active – they have about 30 to 40 committees, each working toward making this a better place for the kids. This town has its own police force, its own fire department, and they all get involved. [Police] Chief Ryan is here all the time and is viewed by the kids as just a big, friendly guy in a uniform.”

Politi, who is married and has four sons – all of whom are now college grads – isn’t sure what he’ll be doing come August.

“I know I will need to continue to work, but I don’t know what that will be,” he said. “It will be something that uses my skill set, but not necessarily in a school setting.

“I know I will miss the kids in the morning. They’ve kept me young.”

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