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Quincy to begin candidate search as two more school administrators retire

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  March 26, 2013 04:49 PM

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Only two months after Quincy High School principal Frank Santoro announced he would be retiring, two more Quincy administrators look to be following suit.

Athletic Director Jim Rendle, 65, and Assistant Superintendent Colleen Roberts, 63, will both be stepping down at the end of this year after decades in the Quincy Public School system.

According to Superintendent Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, the administration is ready to face the turnover, though it won’t be easy.

“I think sometimes with these retirements it’s bittersweet,” he said in a phone interview. “You’re so comfortable in regard to what people have done with their jobs and families and students … It’s not worrisome. It certainly is …difficult, in a school administration or any organization.”

Both administrators have had long careers within Quincy. Rendle in particular has served as the Athletic Director for the past seven years.

Prior to that, he spent 12 years as a Physical Education teacher and health teacher, and has received many accolades for his work coaching girl’s volleyball; he has two state championships and two Boston Globe Coach of the Year awards under his belt.

Yet those honors are not what the coach remembers most about his tenure.

“What stands out is opening doors to athletics, generally speaking, opening doors for Quincy athletes to go on and become productive citizens. Give them opportunities they haven’t had before,” Rendle said

According to Rendle, he has spent his entire coaching career instilling a sense of work ethic into athletes, and has seen kids succeed because of it.

“I’d like to think what they learned through athletics and through Quincy public schools was a help to them,” he said.

Retirement will hopefully be just successful as his career in education.

“I’m not going to retire to the couch, I’ll tell you that,” he said

Rendle said possible options in post-retirement include officiating volleyball games, and possibly even coaching volleyball at the collegiate level and coaching with junior Olympic clubs.

“My wife is a little concerned- my schedule is so go, go, go, go, with two schools every night of the week. It’s, ‘what are you going to do with this time?’ Lets see how much I really have. But I think I’ll find something,” he said.

For Roberts, who has spent a stunning 40-year career entirely within the Quincy Public School system, retirement will be filled with time spent with her family.

“I have grandkids and my husband…I’m just ready,” she said. “I’m going to miss this place like crazy though. My colleagues and all the principals, staff, teachers, we are very lucky in Quincy Public Schools to have what I consider the best, and I will miss them greatly.”

Roberts has had a lengthy resume throughout her career, first working as a student teacher in Quincy Public Schools before becoming a teacher at Lincoln Hancock Elementary.

She would go on to teach at Broad Meadows Elementary, would be in administration at Sterling Middle School, Beechwood Knoll Elementary School, and back to Broad Meadows.

From there, Roberts would move on to Director of Curriculum, and then move to the Assistant Superintendent role to round off her career.

“I’ve had a busy last 10 years,” Roberts said. “I didn’t even go into administration until I was 52, and here I am. I never saw myself in these shoes, but I appreciate so much the people that encouraged me and saw something in me I maybe didn’t see myself, and I’m proud of the job I have done.”

The replacement process will begin in April to fill both positions, along with Quincy Public School’s principal seat.

DeCristofaro anticipated that both the athletic director and principal positions would be filled by May 1. If all goes according to plan, a new assistant superintendent could be appointed by the School Committee as soon as May 8.

A search committee comprised of parents, teachers, department heads, and special community groups would help to vet the candidates.

As far as transitions, DeCristofaro is hopeful that replacing three highly qualified administrators will go as smoothly as that of the replacement of North Quincy High Principal Earl Metzler, who took a superintendent job in another district just last year, leaving the space to current principal Rob Shaw.

“You chose the right candidate. That’s a good beginning. Then you follow up with mentorship, make sure people aren’t alone or isolated… we make sure they have a solid foundation to carry on,” DeCristofaro said.

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