Lynne Celli will no longer be Swampscott's fulltime superintendent after June 30.
She will remain in her current position until then but starting July 1, she will work for the district in a half-time position as executive superintendent for special projects, the superintendent said at Wednesday night's School Committee meeting.
The superintendent read a statement at the meeting, saying she plans to explore new challenges and opportunities.
The change was initiated by the School Committee but the superintendent was amenable to it since it is consistent with her future plans, she said in an interview after the meeting.
In the coming weeks the district will begin searching for an interim superintendent to fullfill the district's regular day-to-day operations starting July 1.
During the meeting, the School Committee chairman said an interim superintendent sometimes serves in that role for one or two years before the district hires a permanent superintendent.
The district will hire a permanent superintendent as soon as it makes sense to do so, he said.
People in the room responded to the big administrative changes primarily with thanks to the superintendent for her service, but some were confused by the change and one longtime teacher was dismayed and upset by the announcement.
Hadley School kindergarten teacher Mary Clain, a veteran of 26 years at the school, said "I am very upset by all this movement."
She said she was distressed, as a teacher and a parent, by the changes, calling them a setback and a disservice to students.
School Committee Chairman Larry Beaupre said he has been privileged to have worked with the superintendent.
He and others cited her legacy of accomplishments and forging positive relations with the teachers' union.
Former School Committee Chairman Jackie Kinney said it had been an honor to work with the superintendent and that her service was integral to strides Swampscott schools have made.
The former chairman lauded the superintendent's strong leadership, saying it was delivered in spades.
Several audience members as well as a student representative to the committtee sought clarification on the changes, wondering what was going on, what the changes entailed.
In her new role Superintendent Celli will focus on projects including plans to meet the district's elementary school building needs.
The School Committee established the position in a vote at Wednesday's meeting.
Patch will report details on the position after it secures a copy of the contract.
Superintendent Lynne Celli's statement at Wednesday's meeting:
I would like to let the Swampscott Public Schools' community and the community at-large know that as of July 1, 2013, I will be assuming the role of Executive Superintendent for Special Projects in a half-time capacity. I am very proud of the work our team has accomplished during my tenure as superintendent. Examples include being named #40 in the Boston Magazine rankings of top school districts in the state, 16 months into our work together, Swampscott High School being named #49 in the Boston Magazine rankings of the top high schools in the state, 28 months into our work together, the positive relationship we enjoy with the Swampscott Education Association, the acceptance of the Statement of Interest by the Massachusetts School Building Authority for a new or renovated elementary school, and obtaining a private grant of $1,032,000 to jump start the K-12 STEM program and the Robotics program at Swampscott High School that has benefitted from this, just to name a few highlights. I am grateful to a School Committee, a Leadership Team, a dedicated staff, and a community that have supported and continue to support these efforts. Without their support, none of these accomplishments would have been possible.
However, at this juncture, I would like to take time to explore the next set of challenges and possible opportunities that will enhance my educational career of 30+ years, of which I am extremely proud. Swampscott is a community deeply committed to quality education for all children. On June 30, 2013, I will have been privileged to have served as superintendent for 3 years. For now however, we are all continuing to work on very ambitious initiatives that will always put "Children First."
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