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.

At its last 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.

Click here for the full story about that vote.

“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.”


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Susan M. December 03, 2012 at 10:20 PM
Absolutely not surprised and don't let the door hit you in the arse. Now we need a real superintendent in the spot. Let's all hope that $15,000.00 can at least get a 1/2 decent person in there.
Cindy Reynolds December 03, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Community mistrust is an understatement. Hopefully the next superintendent will be up to the gargantuan task of righting this sinking ship. The district needs honesty, accountability, transparency, and integrity from its administrators!!
PR Proud December 04, 2012 at 12:38 AM
Many in our community (including myself) lost faith in Dr. Bucci and her central administration months ago. I strongly believe, however, that it was more her lack of experience/ preparation that jeopardized her ability to lead from the onset, than any flaws in her character. Simply stated, Pine-Richland needs/needed a superintendent with enough substance to stand for what is right for the children first, not what keeps a very arbitrary school board happy. That being said, with Dr. Bucci's early resignation, I believe that we (as a community) need to be cautious what we wish for. The alternative could be placing the onus of leading our district through the budget process in the hands of the very inexperienced/ controversial assistant superintendent, or hiring an acting superintendent with few/no ties to our schools.
crosbycat December 05, 2012 at 04:16 PM
It is a shame that in 4 years, Mary Bucci replaced every building principal, the elementary math program, the elementary reading program, redirected the high school through introduction of constructivist STEM/STEAM program, discontinued televising the board meetings, started the extreme leftist high school symposium, seen an increase in bullying, the retirement of many good and experienced teachers...what is the school board for again?


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