Michael J. Rizzo
Michael Rizzo, born in Brooklyn, moved to West Babylon in 1958 when he was ten years old. He attended the Main School, West Babylon Junior High and graduated in 1967 from West Babylon Senior High School. Michael was always very patriotic and loves his country. He was, and still is, “red, white and blue all the way”. Upon graduation from high school, he enthusiastically joined the United States Marine Corps. He served in Vietnam and received the Purple Heart medal. After a lengthy recovery in St. Albans Naval Hospital, his Navy doctor suggested he attend college. His goal was to be a History teacher and he hoped to make his career in West Babylon. He attended C.W. Post College graduating Magna Cum Laude in 1974. His goal and dream came true. He was offered a job in West Babylon teaching World History while working on his Master’s Degree which he received in 1976.
His motto, which he shared with his students was “enthusiasm is contagious”. He did his best to demonstrate this motto every day. During his 37 years of service at West Babylon, he was also employed as an Attendance Teacher, High School Assistant Principal, and class advisor. During this time, he also received his Professional Diploma in Administration and Supervision. In 1986, he transferred to the West Babylon Junior High as Assistant Principal. In 1993, he was appointed Principal of the Junior High. It was as Principal of the Junior High where he felt he made the most impact on his students. Immediately upon his appointment, he introduced the motto “Be All You Can Be” to his staff, students and parents. He tried his best to live up to this motto and encouraged the staff, students and parents to do the same. Often when he addressed students and staff, the motto was used to make a point. The bottom line was “give your all”, try hard and do your best! A message he hoped his students adopted in their daily life.
In 2008, he was appointed West Babylon Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources. He feels he made significant staffing decisions while in this position he found so rewarding. He retired in 2010. In addition, he worked diligently on the original committee to establish a public library in West Babylon. For over a year, the committee campaigned for a library. This was accomplished in 1981. Today, we have a state-of-the-art library in West Babylon. He was a proud member of the West Babylon Lions Club for 33 years, serving as secretary and president. He received the Melvin Jones Award for Lionism. An award he is very proud of. Michael is married to his wife Joan since 1969. Joan is also a 1967 West Babylon graduate. They have two children, Tracey and Frank, and four wonderful grandchildren.