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East Rockaway school officials begin search for new Rhame Avenue Elementary School principal

Erik Walter accepts job in Rockville Centre School District


East Rockaway School District officials are reviewing candidates to take over as principal of Rhame Avenue Elementary School after Erik Walter left the position to accept a job in Rockville Centre.

“We wish Mr. Walter the best,” Superintendent of Schools Lisa Ruiz said. “We are currently interviewing candidates and hope to have someone presented to the board and appointed by the Aug. 13 meeting.”

Ruiz added that she and the Board of Education are conducting an inclusive interview process with a stakeholder committee to garner input before making a decision.

The Rockville Centre Board of Education announced at its June 18 meeting that Walter was appointed principal of Riverside Elementary School. He is scheduled to start that role on Aug. 1.

Walter, 37, was born and raised in Rockville Centre, attending Wilson Elementary School, South Side Middle School and South Side High School, from which he graduated in 1999.

“Having that foundation built as a student in Rockville Centre, and now being able to come back to Rockville Centre and assume a principalship at Riverside School is really full-circle,” Walter told the Herald. “It’s really heartfelt, and it really has a tremendous amount of meaning to me through and through.”

Walter began his career teaching fourth- and fifth-grade for the New York City Department of Education and later was an assistant principal for four years at P.S. 64 in Ozone Park. He then went to the East Rockaway School District, where he spent the last five years as the principal at Rhame.

Walter said his time in East Rockaway meant a great deal to him. “That opportunity helped me be prepared to assume this position and really fulfill that lifelong dream,” he said. “… It’s really an exciting next step on my journey, and I feel like it’s a place now that I’m really going to be able to call home. I see myself, for the rest of my career, being a part of Rockville Centre schools.”