Liverpool: Principal Pal

An old friend has returned to Liverpool High School.

After spending four years as executive principal at Westhill High School, Grenardo Avellino, who goes by Greg, has returned to Liverpool. Avellino had previously been an assistant principal at LHS for seven years. He replaces interim Principal Thomas Helmer, who was filling in after the departure of Terry McNabb.

"I applied for this position because when I was here, it was a position I always wanted," Avellino said.

As a youth, Avellino never would have guessed that he'd end up principal of a high school.

"If you asked my mother, she'd say that God was punishing me," he said with a laugh. "I definitely loved high school. I loved the extracurriculars and the sports, but I wasn't exactly a model student. I had a lot of fun in high school."

After graduation, Avellino did his undergraduate work in early childhood education at SUNY Cobleskill. He recently received an award from the school as a distinguished alumnus.

"At Cobleskill, they really taught me to understand and see that education could be fun," he said. "I could see the connection between the classroom and working as a teacher."

After two years, Avellino transferred to SUNY Cortland where he finished his degree. He then taught sixth grade at Meachem Elementary in Syracuse for five years.

"In my fifth year, I met my wife there," Avellino said. "I thought it would be best for our relationship if we didn't work in the same building. At that time, I also started getting interested in administration."

Avellino attended Syracuse University while doing his administrative internship at Lincoln Middle School. After his second year there, he was moved to Corcoran High School.

"I didn't want to go to high school," Avellino said. "My background was in elementary and middle school. I fought it with the union. But I guess they saw something in me that I didn't. I fell in love with high school students there."

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