PELHAM, N.Y. Dennis Lauro, superintendent of the Pelham Union Free School District, is retiring from his position at the end of the year.
The announcement was made during Monday nights Pelham Board of Education meeting by board president Robert Eicher. Lauro has served the Pelham schools for 16 years.
Eicher described the announcement as an interesting and bittersweet day in the history of the district. He called Lauro a friend, saying it was an honor to have the opportunity to work with him, and thanked the superintendent for his years of service and hard work.
The Board of Education and the parents in the newly dedicated Alumni Hall gave Lauro a standing ovation.
His retirement date of Dec. 31 was chosen to allow time to find a replacement and to develop the initial 2013-14 school year budget. Currently, Lauro is working on the New York State-mandated Annual Professional Performance Assessment with Pelham teachers and principals. The evaluation program, according to a statement announcing his retirement, will go into effect in the 2012-13 school year.
Lauro decided to step down after receiving an invitation to his 50th high school reunion because he thought about the things he still wanted to accomplish in life, the statement said. Pelham is in a very good place at this point, both educationally and financially, he said, thanking the parents and Pelham Education Foundation for their help throughout the years.
I am particularly thankful to all the parents, past and present, who have supported the public schools in Pelham, he said in the statement. I wish to thank the members of the PTA Council who give of their time to best assist the administration and teachers in providing a quality educational program.
Lauro earned his doctorate at the University of Virginia and started working in Pelham in 1996 as director of curriculum, instruction and personnel, according to the statement. He was named the superintendent in August 2008 after working as assistant superintendent and deputy superintendent.
During his time in Pelham, the school enrollment has risen from 1,800 to 2,600 students and the district won multiple championships and awards in athletics and education.
He is likely to continue working in education but offered no details. The school board has not yet announced plans for selecting a new superintendent.
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