Virginia “Ginny” Rico, Principal at Cider Mill School, died Wednesday afternoon after a long illness.

Ms. Rico was the principal at Cider Mill from 2002 until her death.

She received her undergraduate degree from St. John's University and her master's from Fairfield University.

Ms. Rico began teaching in the Wilton public schools in 1978 as a longterm substitute. Beginning in 1985, she was a teacher and technology instructional leader at Cider Mill School before assuming the position of assistant principal in 1997.

In a statement, Superintendent of School Gary Richards said: “Ginny was enormously dedicated to her students and staff. She skillfully and intelligently cultivated a positive and enthusiastic community of learners. An outstanding instructional leader, she hired well, and was an effective mentor who established a warm and supportive school culture. She was a visible and effective leader both in her building and throughout the school system. Throughout her lengthy illness her commitment to, and affection for her students and staff never wavered.”

Mental health professionals will be available for families at Cider Mill School on Friday, June 28 from 10 until noon, and Monday, July 1 from noon until 3.