Rizzo hired as Superintendent at Spring-Ford

The Spring-Ford School Board OK’d a four-year contract to promote the Acting Superintendent as the permanent replacement.

The+Spring-Ford+School+Board+recently+approved+a+four-year+contract+for+Robert+Rizzo+to+become+the+district%27s+next+Superintendent.+

photo-courtesy-of-spring-ford

The Spring-Ford School Board recently approved a four-year contract for Robert Rizzo to become the district’s next Superintendent.

Jackie Vickery, Managing Editor

The Spring-Ford Board of School Directors appointed Robert Rizzo to be the district’s next Superintendent at May 24’s board meeting by a unanimous vote.

“I feel that we are finally headed in the right direction under your leadership,” School Board President Colleen Zasowski said at a recent meeting. “What you’ve done for this district is pull people together, from the board, to administration, to your teachers and your faculty and your support staff, to the community members, and the parents. I’ve heard so many wonderful things.”

Rizzo joined Spring-Ford in June 2019 as Assistant Superintendent and has filled the role of Acting Superintendent since February, following Dr. David Goodin’s resignation after 10 years in the district.

Board members praised Rizzo’s leadership role as the school district adjusted to the ever-evolving to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were constantly reminded of how difficult each decision was,” Rizzo said. “We had to weigh the importance of being in-person for learning while doing all we could to ensure the safety of our students. We worked with families that expressed concerns in all areas from pandemic safety to mental health needs. As educators, we were never prepped for a situation like this, but, together, we learned quickly and adapted.

“What makes me proud as a school leader is how everyone worked together to do what was best for our students given the information we had at the time.”

Rizzo has known about our Spring-Ford community since the early 2000s. Formerly, he was a band director and he traveled across the commonwealth to attend concerts and festivals. He first learned about the Spring-Ford community due to our amazing music program’s reputation.

“In researching the district, I was very excited to see the pride that the parents, students, and community felt for the district,” Rizzo said. “Being a large district, the strong community connection was a big plus. While the district is large, the relationships make it feel smaller.”

Rizzo grew up in Penn Hills, a suburb of Pittsburgh, and graduated from Penn Hills High School.

Rizzo began his career as a Band Director in the East Allegheny School District in 1993. He also worked as Band Director for Penn Hills School District and Indiana Area School District, as well as an Assistant Principal at Indiana Area Senior High School, Principal at Ben Franklin Elementary School, Coordinator of Instructional Technology for Indiana Area School District, and Assistant Superintendent of the Indiana Area School District.

Rizzo is excited to assume the many responsibilities of a superintendent. What are they you may be asking?

“Serving as the chief school administrator, the superintendent’s role here in Spring-Ford is to work toward developing and fostering a unified district vision and ensuring all of our initiatives, professional development, and programming are in alignment with that vision,” Rizzo said. “That means working closely with all departments on both the educational and business sides of the district.”
A typical day for Rizzo will be busy and productive.

“(There were) lots of meetings and this year, learning all that I can about COVID and how best to support students,” Rizzo said. “I have about 10 or so regularly scheduled meetings each week with various groups in the district. I generally provide input into the projects they are working toward and receive regular updates. I also work toward keeping the school board informed on what is happening across all of our buildings.”

Although the 2020-21 school year has been frustrating and unexpected for all parties involved, Rizzo is staying positive for the 2021-22 school year.

“We are now looking forward to where we want our students to go and how we want to get there,” Rizzo said. “We are back to talking about best practices which is really exciting. We found ways to connect in an impossible situation and I’m proud of our entire community for making it happen! Together or apart, we are Spring-Ford!”