Willard Elementary School Principal to Retire

The longtime administrator will remain at the school through the end of the school year.

The principal of Willard Elementary School in Ridgewood will retire at the end of the current school year, the school district announced Wednesday.

Schools Superintendent Dan Fishbein informed parents in a letter that he had received Marianne Williams’ notice of her intention to retire from the position effective Aug. 1.

“Marianne has served the district and Willard School with the highest level of professionalism, dignity and grace,” he wrote. 

“She will be greatly missed by her students and staff, parents and guardians, and administrative colleagues. I know that you will join me in thanking her for her valued service to the Ridgewood Public Schools and her personal commitment to our mission of excellence and that you share my very best wishes to her in retirement.”

Williams worked in the school district for more than three decades, beginning in 1981 as a supplemental instructor, continuing on to teach 14 years at Somerville and becoming principal of Willard in 1997.

During her tenure, the school underwent a construction project that added a new second floor wing. In 2012, it was one of 269 schools in the country, and only 16 in the state, to be honored with a national Blue Ribbon distinction.

"Marianne's strong leadership assures that Willard School has a solid foundation and is well positioned for the next chapter in its history," Fishbein wrote.

The superintendent added that details and a timeline for a process to gather community input, screen and interview candidates to select her successor would be announced shortly.

“Ours is a supportive community with deep involvement in its schools, so it is important to the Board of Education and to me that we include the Willard School community in this process,” he said.


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