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      Bittersweet ending for Crossgates Elementary principal

      Dennis DeLucia retires / By Michael Melchiorre

      Students at Crossgates Elementary celebrated the schools last day as an elementary full of activities, eating pizza and, of course, fun at recess. But for Principal Dennis DeLucia the last day of school was bittersweet.

      "Being an elementary school principal, you get a lot of hugs, you get a lot of kids thinking that you're so, so neat because you TMre principal and I'm going to miss that type of thing." said Principal Dennis DeLucia.

      After 20 years of being the principal at Crossgates, DeLucia is retiring. In September of 1990, DeLucia and his wife bought a house across the street. At the time DeLucia was the principal of Chase Elementary. A year later he accepted the position as principal of Crossgates not knowing his home and place of retirement would be a permanent situation. DeLucia said that he loves living in the community and luck would allow him to walk to school everyday for 20 years.

      Coincidentally the school is closing it doors as an elementary school due to Toledo Public Schools switching to a K through 8 format.

      "It just so happened that it fell that way said DeLucia, I've looked at this year as possibly being my final year and going k through 8 is a big change... but it really didn TMt force me one way or another (to retire). It just so happened to fall at the same time."

      Current students of Crossgates Elementary will attend Byrnedale Middle School for the 2011-2012 school year. Toledo Public Schools will utilize the 45-year-old building to combine several preschools. DeLucia was happy the building would be put to good use. He says it's in great shape and located in a wonderful community.

      The preschool children will also be able to take advantage of a park behind the building - dedicated and named Dennis L. DeLucia Park last Friday.