Joe Rizzo, executive director of the Flagler County Education Foundation for five years, has died.
“First and foremost, my heart goes out to Teresa, Joseph and Caroline,” Flagler Schools Superintendent Cathy Mittelstadt said in a Flagler Schools news release. “I know there are so many people in our community who have already stepped up to help where they can. Joe was Flagler County.
“His ability to speak with people regardless of their background or education, his larger than life personality and his passion for Flagler Schools,” Mittelstadt continued. “If you’re looking for the word ‘iconic’, Joe’s photo would smile back at you. I had the opportunity to see Joe distribute grant checks to our teachers. It was easy to see in those moments that his passion was to help everyone. associated with Flagler schools. This is a blow not only for us in our district, but for all of Flagler County. »
Flagler County School Board Chairman Trevor Tucker added, “I and the other school board members are stunned by this news and lift Teresa, Joseph and Caroline up in our prayers. Joe’s legacy has a huge impact. If there was an opportunity to support a program at Flagler schools over the past two decades, Joe Rizzo had helped. His work with Carla Cline in creating the Josh Crews Writing Project has given voice to so many of our students. Joe and the team he built at the Flagler County Educational Foundation have become integral to the success of our district. Personally, I am honored to have called him “my friend”.
The Ed Foundation also released a statement, which reads as follows:
“The Flagler County Education Foundation is heartbroken to announce the sudden passing of Joe Rizzo. He not only led the Foundation, but transformed the organization during his five-year tenure by more than tripling the overall assets of Foundation and doubling the number of students in the Take Stock in Children Mentoring Program His passion for helping the entire Flagler County community, but especially the students and teachers of Flagler Schools, seeped into his pores. and was evident in everything he did. Joe not only dedicated his time to the Foundation to increase his strengths and influence in the lives of students, but he also taught and led a team that would stand by his side. to achieve its goals.
“Joe is one of the few who grew up in Flagler County, graduating from Flagler-Palm Coast High School in 1994. Joe graduated from Mars Hill University in North Carolina where he played football and met his wife, Teresa.He returned to Flagler County in 1999 and started his first of many business ventures as a partner at the local Woody’s Bar-B-Que.
“He first served on the Flagler County Board of Education at the request of former Flagler Schools Superintendent Bill Delbrugge before becoming chairman of the board. Joe’s tenure saw five presidents, including our current president, Dr. Jennifer Thornton, also a graduate of Flagler Palm Coast High School, who have all been inspired by Joe to give back to her beloved hometown.
“As a member of the 18th Flagler Leadership Class, he, along with Carla Cline, started the Josh Crews Writing Project, now in its tenth year. be published.
“Joe is survived by his wife Teresa, son Joseph, daughter Caroline and sister Krista. The family asks for your support as they grieve. Additional details of services will be released at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that all donations be made to the Flagler County Education Foundation.”
This is a developing story.