Glen Rock Superintendent of Schools David Verducci on Monday announced his intention to retire at the end of the 2011-2012 school year, two years before his contract ends.
Verducci, who was hired in 2009 after a six-month search, asked that the school board accept his resignation at its March 26 board meeting. He had previously told school board members in closed session, he said.
"My reasons for this decision are entirely positive, albeit entirely personal. And simply said, my family needs me right now," Verducci said.
The superintendent, with over three decades as an educator in seven Bergen schools under his belt, will step down on July 1.
Jokingly, Verducci said he hadn't won a Powerball jackpot, nor was he eyeing a gubernatorial run. On a smaller scale, he remarked he also wasn't . He's retiring, simply put, he said.
"Most of all, I wanted to be clear that nowhere on my list is there any room for anything but good feelings about the three years I've spent here in Glen Rock," Verducci said, adding that his tenure has graced a time of sea changes in education but "extraordinary" accomplishment in Glen Rock.
"Now I know that there are some that would try to make some out of this that is not, so let me be emphatic on two points. First, this decision was mine and mine alone; no one outside my family was privy to this prior to a short time ago. And second, I am deeply indebted to the entire school community – the members of the board in particular – for having granted me the privilege of being part of this school district for the past three years. I am truly grateful and have no regrets whatsoever.
"As I believe we've passed that tipping point and begun that final ascent to becoming a 'lighthouse district.' I'm convinced of that. And since that's always been my vision for this district, it's gratifying to know that that symbolism has become the lingua franca for a real culture of achievement."
Verducci, in his address, requested the school board grant him a day in June to provide his final evaluation of the district to faculty and staff; present a five-year curriculum 'vision' to keep Glen Rock a top performing district long after he's departed; and finally, asked the board to do whatever is 'humanly possible' to keep graduation outdoors and on the high school campus this year.
School board president Rona McNabola said after the meeting that the district will begin an 'open' search process to find a replacement, though there is no definitive time table.
It will be a very different search than the one conducted three years ago, McNabola said. With the superintendent salary cap in effect, the top amount Glen Rock can offer is just under $158,000. Verducci currently makes $225,000 a year.
"We're losing an experienced superintendent," McNabola said. "The next [superintendent] may be much less experienced ... we're not making any assumptions but we have a general idea what we're looking for."
She did not outrule potentially having an interim superintendent during the search.
As for Verducci, he told Patch after the meeting that he plans on traveling the world (he's already seen 85 countries), learning French, mastering some culinary arts, spending time with family, doing work on his home and even publishing a children's book or two.
Verducci was named the 2011 Superintendent of the Year by the New Jersey Association of School Administrators' northern region.