Principal's Corner

ADS Principal

Welcome families and friends to a new school year!

Recently, a first grader asked me why I became a principal.  Thinking back, even as a young child I had an immense love of learning and would play ‘school’ for hours on end.   Perhaps it was destined that I spend the majority of my adulthood as a teacher and an educational leader.

My formal education is long and varied, and continues even to this day.  I have a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and a Master’s in Business Administration.  I was an International Marketing Specialist for a few years out of college, but my passion for teaching was ignited when my own two children were very young.  I pursued a second Master’s Degree in Elementary Education and taught at East Derry Memorial Elementary for twelve years.  During that time, I took post-secondary courses at Rivier University and obtained a Certification in School Administration. 

In 2010, with my children grown, I hopped across the border to Massachusetts and accepted a position with the Pentucket Regional School District, as Assistant Principal of Bagnall Elementary School.  In my fourth year at Bagnall, I served in the capacity of Acting Principal.  Proudly, in 2014, I returned to my New Hampshire roots to accept the position of Principal of Abbot-Downing School! Today, I continue to pursue higher education, and am currently a candidate for a Doctorate degree in Leadership and Learning from Rivier University.

It is an honor and a privilege to lead the exceptional faculty and dedicated staff at Abbot-Downing.  Even more so, it is humbling to be entrusted with the education of your children.  They are so filled with the wonder and the joy of youth!  Together as families and educators, we can, and will, bring the children of Abbot-Downing to new heights; that they achieve the Concord School District’s Sacred Seven and become the active self-directed learners, effective collaborators, informed decision makers, creative producers, effective communicators, life planners and community participants of tomorrow!

I look forward to our collaboration during the year. 


Kathleen Riordan, Principal



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