Riverhead Elementary Principal Elected as a Director of NAESP

May 11, 2020

Roanoke Avenue Elementary School Principal Thomas Payton has been named a director of the National Association of Elementary School Principals. His term as a Zone 2 director begins on Aug. 1 and will continue for three years.

As a new board member, some of Payton’s goals are to increase diversity within the association, provide the American Indian community with support and guidance, serve as a voice on Capitol Hill to shape policy, and propose a national mental health work group that would be charged with hearing and sharing everyday challenges faced by school principals.

“Change can never be reached without unity,” said Payton. “Principals are the experts, and together our voices are strong.”

Payton has served as an elementary school principal in the Riverhead Central School District for the past 15 years. Previously, he was assistant principal of Addeliar D. Guy Elementary School, part of the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he also taught fourth grade. In addition, he taught fifth grade in the Elwood School District, fourth grade in the South Huntington School District, fifth grade in the New York City Public School System and fourth grade in the Massapequa School District.

Payton holds a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice from SUNY Buffalo State College, a Master of Science in elementary education from Hofstra University and a professional diploma in educational administration from Dowling College.

He has sat as a representative and on the board of directors of the School Administrators Association of NYS since 2013. He has also served as president and vice president of the Riverhead Administrators Association.