Charles Soriano returned to East Hampton Middle School on Monday after an extended medical leave.
"I'm so happy to back," Soriano said. "The kids were wonderful. They passed me in the hall and said, 'Welcome back,' he said.
Soriano, a former district assistant superintendent who took the helm at the middle school for the 2012-13 school year, said he felt "terrible" he was away from the school since late October, but he was struggling with an illness.
"Everyone was talking about Lyme's disease," Soriano said of the speculation while he was out. "That was the initial diagnosis," he said. He was prescribed nine weeks of strong antibiotics, but did not improve. "It made me very sick — I've never felt so sick," he said.
A team of doctors at New York Presbyterian finally gave him a diagnosis just last week — Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. If he moves a certain way, his heart rate may spike, he said. He was prescribed a beta blocker, and is feeling much better.
"I'm well enough to be at work. I'm very happy to be back," he said.
Retired middle school principal Thomas Lamorgese substituted for Soriano during his absence. "We've been in contact over the past few months. The transition was already very smooth today. I've seen most staff today," he said on Monday afternoon.
"We are pleased that Dr. Soriano is healthy and able to assume his role as the MS Principal," East Hampton School District Superintendent Rich Burn said in an email on Monday. "We are very thankful to Dr. Thomas Lamorgese for helping to make the transition for Dr. Soriano’s return so smooth."
So what is Soriano looking forward to?
"Getting back into observing classes. I'm looking forward to the Mad Heart Ball on Friday night and the Junior National Honor Society on Thursday. We have a lot of good things going on at the school," he said.
The Mad Heart Ball starts at 7 p.m. We hear students have been learning special dance moves, like the Merengue, just for the occasion.
Welcome Charles Soriano back to the East Hampton Middle School and wish him well. Leave a comment below.