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East Lyme - Superintendent of Schools James Lombardo, who was planning to retire at the end of next school year, has notified the school board that he will instead retire earlier on Jan. 1, 2015.
Lombardo said in a letter to the school board, received at Monday's meeting, that a family illness prevents him from devoting the required time and energy to the position and that he has decided it's in the best interests of the district and his family for him to move on.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my five years in the district and hope that I have contributed in some small way to the excellence that the community expects of its schools," he wrote. "Our district enjoys excellent teaching, administrative, and support staff, as well as active and supportive families and community members. I look forward to supporting out schools as a private citizen and community volunteer in the coming years."
In a phone interview, he stressed the importance of family and reflected fondly on his time in East Lyme. He said he is happy he could be part of the positive changes, such as implementing full-day kindergarten and installing a new athletic field.
"It's a great place, with great teachers and great staff and a wonderful community that supports its schools," he said.
In addition, Assistant Superintendent Brian Reas will depart the district on Aug. 11 to become the superintendent of schools in East Haddam.
Reas said he would miss East Lyme schools, but expressed excitement for the future.
"I'm going to miss everybody here. It's been a great experience working with the board, administrators, teachers and the families," said Reas after the meeting. "I'm excited about the move to East Haddam, and the superintendency and all that means."
- Kimberly Drelich