John Grasso, a retired Greenwich educator, was appointed as the interim principal of Royle Elementary School.

The Board of Education unanimously supported the hire at its meeting Tuesday, July 29.

Grasso starts in his position Friday, Aug. 1.

"We feel very fortunate that Mr. Grasso is interesting in serving in this role for the year," interim Superintendent Lynne Pierson on Tuesday night said.

Royle Elementary School has been without a principal since Keith Margolus accepted a position in Ridgefield. He started at the Branchville Elementary School July 1.

In the absence of a principal, Middlesex Middle School assistant principals Andrew Byrne and Marc Marin oversaw the administrative functions at Royle, according to Pierson.

Grasso started in Greenwich in 1994 as an assistant principal of Riverside School. He was appointed principal in 2000 and served until 2012

Grasso started his career in 1975 as a fifth-grade teacher at Rogers International School in Stamford. In 1979, he moved to the Westover Magnet School as a community liaison and team leader. He left teaching in 1982 to work in the private sector, returning to the field in 1988 as a sixth-grade teacher at Roxbury Elementary School in Stamford, where he remained for six years before going to Riverside.

Under Grasso's leadership, the Riverside School implemented ROPES, a character development program, and Riverside Rangers, a student leadership development initiative, according to the district. Grasso also established a number of special programs and instructional strategies, including an Arts Field Day, and was involved with designing the ALP Interdisciplinary Program.

While remaining principal of Riverside School in the 2010-11 school year, Grasso took on the role of interim Advanced Learning Program coordinator in order to assist in the transition of leadership for that position and oversee a review of the program.

Grasso served as interim principal of Scotland Elementary School in Ridgefield for the first three months of the 2013-14 school year, after which he was invited to continue as a contributing evaluator for the remainder of the year, supporting all aspects of the teacher evaluation process at Scotland Elementary. He served in a similar position for the Greenwich Public Schools during the 2013-14 school year.

Grasso also attended Harvard University's Summer Principal Institute for Project Zero, applying what he learned in the training in various ways throughout the school.; 203-330-6583; @Meg_DarienNews