WHS Principal Honored

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State Association Cites Randy Zito as a 'Role Model'

By Patrick Cronin

Hampton Union, Friday, January 16, 2009

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
"It's inadequate praise to what he has done for the faculty, to the building and for the students who go here."
James Gaylord
SAU 21 superintendent
Randy Zito

HAMPTON -- Winnacunnet Principal Randy Zito was named an "outstanding role model" for principals by the New Hampshire Association of School Principals.

Zito was one of five principals in the state who received the honor during the association's winter workshop Tuesday, Jan. 13 in Concord. "My leadership is only as good as the people who work here and the students that go to school here," said Zito. "I'm lucky to be principal here."

Zito was given the award by Gov. John Lynch, state Education Commissioner Lyonel Tracey and state Board of Education Chairman John Lyons.

SAU 21 Superintendent James Gaylord congratulated Zito on the award during Wednesday night's School Board meeting.

Gaylord said the award came about because he was nominated by Assistant Principal Kris Oswald to be named Principal of the Year.

While he didn't win that award, Gaylord said, this award speaks just as highly as to the job he's done during his last five years as principal at Winnacunnet.

"I think that is what Randy is, an outstanding role model, and he has been since the day he walked through the door," Gaylord said.

Zito began his career as an English teacher at Winnacunnet in 1976 and was promoted to assistant principal in 1982

He left in 1993 to become principal in Newmarket and later in Westbrook and Kittery, Maine.

Zito returned to the high school as vice principal in 2004 and a year later was named principal, replacing Ruth Leveille, whose contract was not renewed.

"It's been my pleasure to say I helped hire him as principal, and I look forward to working with him to the end of one of our careers," Gaylord said.

Winnacunnet School Board member Chris Singleton said Zito has been a big part of the success of the school.

"When I think about where we were six years ago and I see where we are today, it's like, 'Wow, what a difference,'" Singleton said. "And I know you have been a big part of that."

Zito took over the reigns in the mist of turmoil under the leadership of Leveille and also during a major renovation and construction project at the school.

Board Chairman Richard Goodman said Zito deserves all the praise he is getting and noted when it was announced to the faculty that he won, he received a standing ovation.

"It's inadequate praise to what he has done for the faculty, to the building and for the students who go here," Gaylord said. "This is a great high school to walk into. It exudes Randy."

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