Superintendent Lombardo sets 2015 date for retirement in East Lyme

East Lyme - Superintendent James Lombardo has announced to the Board of Education that he will retire when his contract with the district ends on June 30, 2015.

At Monday's meeting, the board also positively evaluated Lombardo for successfully reaching the district's goals, such as implementing full-day kindergarten, and approved revising his contract with 2 percent salary increases for the next two years.

Lombardo, who joined the school district in 2009 from the Bensalem Township School District in Pennsylvania, has worked as a schools superintendent for 30 of his 44 years in education.

"It's the right time," he said in a phone interview about his decision to retire.

School board Chairman Timothy Hagen said the board's evaluation of the superintendent's leadership was positive, especially in terms of addressing challenges last year such as implementing security measures after the Newtown school shooting and planning for a new state-mandated teacher evaluation system.

"We really thanked Dr. Lombardo for his fourth year, and we told him he had substantially met and exceeded the goals under the long-range plan for the district," said Hagen.

Lombardo will assist the board in ensuring a smooth transition to a new superintendent, said Hagen, and the district will aim to "continue on the momentum" the superintendent established.

At the meeting, the board also modified the superintendent's contract to include 2 percent salary increases for this year and next year. The contract modestly adjusts some of his benefits and states the superintendent must give the district six months' notice of his departure date, according to Hagen. The previous contract stipulated that the superintendent must give the board 90 days' notice.

In a letter to the school district, Lombardo told the district: "I have decided that it is time for me to retire from my role as a full time Superintendent and to pursue other interests and family matters. I have two wonderful daughters who deserve so much more of my time and attention. I have many countries yet to visit and so many more motorcycle rides to pursue ..."

He also expressed confidence that the district would continue as "a caring and dynamic district where 'children are more than a test score.'"

k.drelich@theday.com

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