UPDATED: Pine-Richland Schools Superintendent Mary Bucci Resigns
The Pine-Richland School Board informed Bucci in October that it would not renew her contract when it expires at the end of June.
UPDATED: The updated portions of the story are in bold face.
Superintendent Dr. Mary Bucci has notified the Pine-Richland School Board that she intends to resign effective Jan. 8 and retire from public education.
The nine-member board voted unanimously to accept her resignation Monday at its annual reorganization meeting, "thanking her for her long service to public education and wishing her well in retirement," according to the agenda on the district's website. (See video.)
Bucci was not at the meeting.
Newly elected school board President Peter Lyons said the board will begin mapping out a plan for moving forward following the meeting.
Bucci notified the board of her resignation in a Nov. 26 letter to Dr. Jeffrey Banyas, chair of the board's staff services committee.
By resigning in January, Bucci avoids dealing with what likely will be a grueling budget season. She came under fire in past years over her recommendations on how to balance the district's budget as expenses outpaced revenue.
At its monthly regular meeting on Nov. 26, the school board met in an executive session to discuss a personnel issue. No announcement was made at that time about Bucci's letter of intent to resign.
The Pine-Richland School Board voted 5-3 in early October not to renew Bucci's contract when it expires June 30.
President Stephen Hawbaker, Vice President Dr. Jeffrey Banyas and Director Therese Dawson voted to keep Bucci with each giving an empassioned speech about Bucci's accomplishments.
Directors Peter Lyons, Laura Ohlund, Virginia Goebel, Katie Shogan and Dennis Sundo voted not to renew the contract.
Director Mark Casciani, who was appointed to the board Sept. 20, abstained.
“I have considered it a privilege to work for this district, to serve the students and staff and parents of the school district and the school board members who have supported me. I will always be grateful for the opportunity," Bucci said after the October vote.
“I still say Pine-Richland is a great place to live, to learn and to work,” Bucci said with a smile.
A school board is required to express its intent on a superintendent’s contract renewal five months before the contract expires, Hawbaker explained at the October meeting.
The board had begun its evaluation process and Shogan said at the October meeting that the community feedback she saw showed "a mistrust that is pervasive and that it is too much to overcome.”
Shogan said the comments showed a divide “that really took me by surprise.”