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Changing of the guard at Lynwood Elementary

Dillon Leaving, Rizzo to take over as principal

Lynwood Principal James Dillon will graduate this summer while Alicia Rizzo, most recently an administrator in Hoosick Valley, will take over where he left off.

The Guilderland School Board unanimously approved Rizzo as Lynwood Elementary School principal at a Tuesday, June 8 meeting. Dillon retires later this month and said he plans on writing and consulting, drawing on years of experience in education.

Rizzo will officially begin her new administrative duties in July and receive an annual salary of $95,000.

Dillon finished his 17th year at Lynwood Elementary School and has spent more than 20 years in administration and 30 years in education. He was a special education teacher for almost 10 years.

"I love Lynwood," he said. "It was a very difficult decision for me to make on many levels."

He likened his 17 years of administration to the amount of time a student takes to complete kindergarten to college, calling his retirement a graduation of his own.

Dillon touted the community and support he received while principal.

"I think Lynwood has really been a school that's really believed in community, not just for the students but for the staff."

Rizzo said she is excited to take over for Dillon and is glad to be a part of the Guilderland school community.

"I am absolutely thrilled and honored to accept the position of Lynnwood Elementary Principal. Guilderland has a long-standing reputation of excellence and it is my privilege to continue to lead Lynnwood elementary in that tradition," Rizzo said. "Guilderland is committed to its mission of empowering students for success in the 21st century and it is my goal to be a member of the school community that helps to fulfill that mission. The challenges for schools in these times are many, but I believe it is OK, because we can change the world. The Lynnwood community has been so overwhelmingly supportive of me already and I can't wait to join them on July 1."

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