Goldstein wants students to know it’s OK to make mistakes

The Enterprise — Elizabeth Floyd Mair 
Barbara Goldstein, who is retired from a more than 30-year career as a special-education teacher and school principal, is serving as principal at Lynnwood Elementary while Alicia Rizzo deals is out on medical leave. 

GUILDERLAND — Barbara Goldstein, a retired educator who is filling in on a per-diem basis at Lynnwood Elementary as principal during Alicia Rizzo’s medical leave, says her philosophy centers on helping students find joy and develop empathy.  

In early January, the school district had announced that Rizzo would be taking an unforeseen medical leave of absence. Rizzo has served as principal of Lynnwood Elementary since 2010, when she replaced James Dillon at his retirement.

Goldstein said in an interview at her office on Feb. 25 — her first full day of work — that she sees part of her role as helping students recognize, when they encounter challenges, that it’s OK to make mistakes and that whatever difficulties they may face at the moment will not continue forever.

“That’s hard for us even to learn as adults,” she said.

Goldstein didn’t want to schedule the interview at the very start of the school day because she wanted to be able to greet students as they arrived.

Before Goldstein’s arrival, Marcia Ranieri, the district’s instructional administrator for world languages and English as a New Language, had helped out with the day-to-day work of overseeing the building, while continuing in her own post.

Goldstein began her career as a special-education teacher with the Hamilton, Fulton Montgomery Board of Cooperative Educational Services for a decade and then worked for 22 years in the Averill Park school district, first as a special-education teacher, then as a director of special education in all grade levels, and finally as an elementary-school principal.

A native of Westchester County, she attended The College of Saint Rose and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. She holds permanent certification as a school-district administrator.

Goldstein was appointed on Feb. 4 but began work on Feb. 25. On Feb. 11, the board of education approved her appointment effective Feb. 4 at a salary of $500 per day.

Superintendent Marie Wiles said this week that Goldstein worked some hours here and there, on transition activities, before starting full-time on Feb. 25; prior to Feb. 25, Wiles said, Goldstein would have been paid only for the hours she worked.

Wiles said that she can’t give any estimate of how long Goldstein will be filling in, “other than ‘for the time being.’”

More Guilderland News

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  • In November 2019, Albany Country Club proposed changing the zoning of 549 acres from Rural Agricultural to Country Hamlet for a 290-unit development consisting of 100 single-family homes, 100 townhomes, and 90 multi-family units.

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