Humans of RV: Mr. Connolly

RV’s Director of Curriculum discusses his roots at RV

Sydney Wise, Student Life Writer

The Humans of RV project is a weekly column based on Brandon Stanton’s seminal “Humans of New York” project, which seeks to “catalog the city’s inhabitants” through photography and brief interviews. RV seeks to expand on this project with our own “cataloging” of RV students and an examination into all the unique perspectives here at school. 

Note: this transcript has been edited and condensed for publication purposes.


I had a belief that, as an administrator, I can support teachers and help them avoid getting worn out like I was, and help them help the students.

[My career] started out with me sitting with my dad, figuring out what I wanted to do in college. It took a while, but I decided on an English teacher and a football coach.

In the end, I didn’t really look back: I went to school to study English and worked as a football coach like my dad. I think education is a great career. Honestly, I thought I would be in a classroom for 35 years, but my career took a lot of turns.

Mr. Connolly helps prep lunch for freshmen at orientation in 2019. Photo courtesy of Mr. Maniglia

I started teaching here in 1989 as an English teacher. And in 2003, the supervision position came up, and I had been moving in that direction. I needed a certain certificate to be an administrator, so it wasn’t all overnight. I didn’t come in and say “Hey I wanted to change jobs.” 

I started thinking in that direction I thought about the different people I knew who were going to retire. In 2003, I became a supervisor here. But in 2007, I left and went to a different district for K-12. Then came back here in 2015 as the Director Of Curriculum.

Being the Director Of Curriculum is a weird title. Most think ‘what the heck is that?’ Here at RV, we have supervisors who are content specialists. I work with them to coordinate, talk about and write about curriculum and courses. I also work with the teachers and evaluate them. Teachers don’t really have people in their classroom very often, so it’s an opportunity to meet with someone and talk about teaching. I’m [also] involved with the mentoring program. When new teachers come here, they get a mentor, so I usually help with that behind the scenes.

During the pandemic, I wasn’t affected as much as everyone else in at school. RV was challenged; the teaching and learning at home in kitchens and bedrooms, and the school schedule changed a lot of things. But we recovered and supported each other in this pandemic and more.

Just being at RV is life-changing to me, and I’m [proud of] the impact I’ve been able to make here.