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Staff Spotlight: Phil Rizzuto & Sylvia Kinn

Staff Spotlight: Phil Rizzuto & Sylvia Kinn
Posted on 06/01/2017
philPhil Rizzuto

What do you do at G&P? I am a paraprofessional in Linnaea’s third grade classroom (room 216).

How long have you been at G&P? This is my fourth full year at Graham and Parks. I also completed my undergraduate student teaching at Graham and Parks in 2012 in Mary Gallagher’s fifth grade classroom.

Where are you from? I am from Cambridge, Massachusetts. I attended the Tobin School for nine years and then CRLS for high school. I also completed my undergraduate degree at Lesley University. It never occurred to me to go far from home!

What profession other than your own would you most like to attempt? Although I never thought growing up that I would own a business of my own, I recently purchased an ice cream store, Lizzy’s in Harvard Square. It is located on Church St. across from the Border Café. I had worked there for many years before I bought the business. I was very fortunate to have been given the opportunity. I think the attempt is going well so far, though sometimes it is hard to find time to sleep between working both there and here at G&P!

Who was your favorite teacher? Why? My fifth and sixth grade teacher at the Tobin School, Michael Punzak. He was engaging, funny and had a style that was all his own. He loved to tell stories, make jokes and play pranks on us. He was silly, but never in a way that neglected our learning. We had fun, but we learned a lot, too. I remember waking up every day during those years excited, wondering what fun and crazy things we would do that day.

What do you love about G&P? Walking down the halls and seeing all the beautiful work on the walls.The work shows not only the talent and commitment of the teachers that work here, but the joy students feel learning and the pride they take in their work. Also, I enjoy working at the same school that my mother, Mary Rizzuto, and my godmother, Mary DiSchino both worked at for many years. They were fantastic educators and I hope I make them proud!

sylviaSylvia Kinn

What do you do at G&P? As School Psychologist at Graham and Parks I chair the special education progress. This involves meeting with teachers to discuss students who might be struggling to keep up with classroom curriculum and who are not responding to interventions provided in the general education program. I am responsible for generating the consent to evaluate if it appears that a disability might be the cause of the student's difficulties. And, once the consent is signed by parents I chair the process, which includes chairing the Team meeting to discuss findings and recommendations and writing the Individualized Educational Plan. I also complete cognitive/Psycho-Educational testing if it's included in the evaluation. Additionally, I support special educators in the building and my door is always open to answer questions and/or consult with parents and teachers.

How long have you been at G&P? I have worked at Graham and Parks for 16 years and for the Cambridge School district for 24 years.

Where are you from? I was born and raised in Boston.

If you could have any person (living, dead or fictional) as a principal, who would it be? I would have loved to have had Maya Angelou as principal. I admired her intelligence, wisdom and kindness, and was always mesmerized by the sound and rhythm of her voice whenever I heard her speak.

How did you know you wanted to be a teacher? I have always loved working with children and wanted to be a teacher from a very young age, however I developed an interest in psychology when I took a psychology course my senior year in high school. After graduating college and considering graduate school I stumbled upon a School Psychology program which combined the two and thought it was a perfect fit!