St. James Elementary principal retiring in June after two decades at the helm


St. James Elementary School Principal Mary Grace Lynch will retire in June after 20 years on the job, the Smithtown Central School District announced.

The board of education formally approved the veteran educator’s retirement during its meeting this week.

“The most special thing has been the people — absolutely the people,” Lynch said. “The students, the staff, the families, the community as a whole — it’s all just exceptional.”

Lynch, who will be joined in retirement by her secretary at St. James Elementary, Jane Groneman, said she expects the next several months at work to be emotional and nostalgic.

“The building itself is a historical building that I’ll miss,” Lynch said. “Teaching and learning are my passions. I started in education 39 years ago. It’s going to be a different life. But I have two grandchildren and I have a lot of hobbies that I’ve put on the side, and many, many books to read. I’m looking forward to it.”

Before joining St. James Elementary, Lynch taught for a combined 15 years at the elementary level in New York City and Brentwood. She also served as an assistant principal and principal in the Connetquot Central School District before joining St. James Elementary.

Top photo: Retiring St. James Elementary School Principal Mary Grace Lynch (courtesy of Smithtown CSD)