KENMORE — Mount St. Mary Academy Principal Dawn Riggie announced her retirement after 25 years leading the Kenmore all-girls high school.
The board of trustees formed a search committee to perform a national search for the next principal, whom they hope to have in place by the start of the 2018-19 academic year. Riggie will remain with the school until that time to ensure the new principal is prepared to take over.
"While it is easy to understand Mrs. Riggie's desire to spend more time with her family, including her husband, children and grandchildren, it is hard to imagine MSM without her," said Board President Kathy Hoelscher Glieco '81. "As a direct result of Mrs. Riggie's efforts, today Mount St. Mary is strong and well-positioned to continue to thrive and grow. The board could not be more grateful to Mrs. Riggie for her dedication, loyalty, and leadership for 25 years, and we intend to build on her amazing legacy as we look to the future."
During her tenure as principal, Riggie built a school environment that is enriching for all students. The school, with 335 students in grades nine-12, has a 10:1 student to teacher ratio and 22 athletic teams. She strengthened the school's academic program by introducing honors, advanced placement and dual enrollment courses; supported development of a world-class and award-winning entrepreneurship program; and created a diverse learning environment that supports student needs.
"My 25 years at Mount St. Mary have been wonderful," Riggie said. "I've been blessed to work with talented and dedicated teachers and administrators and to be surrounded by students whose passion for education and helping others is unsurpassed."
Riggie spent nearly half of her life at MSM. She attended the former Mount St. Mary Academy Elementary School, graduating in 1967. She continued her education at Mount St. Mary as a member of the Class of 1971. Just over 20 years later, with extensive experience working in religious education programs, Riggie returned to MSM as dean of Students. She served in this role until 2001 when the board of trustees named her principal.
Riggie is also credited with the school's efforts to increase offerings in the fine arts and athletics, including creating a full instrumental music program, New York state's only all-girls marching band, golf and lacrosse teams, and most recently, a varsity and novice crew program. Additionally, Riggie, who has expertise and a strong interest in educational computing, was instrumental in expanding the school's technology offerings to include a fully networked campus, a one-to-one iPad program and a robust STEAM program.