Last night, Hoboken's BoE voted to approve the replacement for Charles Tortorella, the Wallace School principal whose retirement takes effect on August 31.

I'd like to report the result, but LA (Little Avenger) was bored. So I took her home when the Board members went into closed session to discuss agenda item 35: the recommendation of Batholomew (Bart) Reilly for Wallace School Principal for the 2010-2011 school year. BoE member Maureen Sullivan had requested that this item be discussed prior to a vote.

So I shook Bart's hand and congratulated him on the way out. To which he replied, "Not yet".

For my part, I like Wallace Vice Principal Reilly very much.

True, he's not the charisma-machine of his predecessor but rather a low-key and steady presence in the Wallace schoolyard, available to parents for a talk, a good listener and responsive. I'm crossing my fingers for you, Bart.

That said, I'm sorry Tortorella's gone.

Not an office-dweller, you'd find his tall, lean figure pacing the Wallace halls, parked in a classroom, lording over a bustling schoolyard or in front of the building talking to a cop or a parent; I don't doubt that he knew the names of nearly every one of his 800+ students. Hands-on, he was. Not a chair-warmer. And passion for advancing our kids' educational experience was what Mr. T was all about. He made a difference, he really did. And he shall be missed.

So, Mr. T, thank you. And happy trails.

(Update: 8:50 am)
My peeps have just informed me that Bart Reilly was approved unanimously by the School Board to succeed Mr. T.! Thanks, gals and guys of the BoE.

Now to you, Mr. Reilly.... congratulations!

Best of luck in your new leadership position at Wallace School. And remember, now you'll be wearing many more hats than before. At least: