BY PAUL LEIGHTON
---- — BEVERLY — Schools Superintendent Marie Galinski has announced that she will retire in June, ending speculation about her future in Beverly after she surprised school board members by pursuing another job.
Galinski, 64, said in a statement that she is retiring because, “It is the appropriate time for me to pass the torch to another superintendent, one who will lead the district to the next level.”
“It is likely I will not retire entirely but will explore other interests and options in the education field,” she said.
Galinski is retiring despite having asked the School Committee last year for a contract extension, which the board granted along with a $6,000 raise. The contract would have run through June 2014 if Galinski did not retire. Her salary is $151,000.
School Committee President Maria Decker said she was not surprised by Galinski’s decision, considering that Galinski had applied for the superintendent job in Groton. Galinski was one of three finalists for that position before withdrawing from the process in January.
At the time, Decker said it was “unfortunate” that Galinski was looking for another job so soon after asking for a contract extension.
Asked yesterday if there was tension between the School Committee and the superintendent that may have led to Galinski’s decision to retire, Decker said, “I don’t think so. I really think it was a personal deliberation on her part at this point in her life. She was probably juggling a lot of options. I respect it as a personal decision for her and really wish her well in the next phase of her life.”
Because Galinski’s announcement came so late in the school year, Decker said the School Committee will consider hiring an interim superintendent to allow time to search for a permanent replacement.
Decker said she has been in touch with the National Association of School Committees for guidance on finding interim superintendents.
“There are a lot of retired superintendents who do that,” she said. “We have such wonderful administrators in the district that can keep the day-to-day operations going on.”
The School Committee will discuss its options at its March 27 meeting. The board will form a search committee to look for a permanent superintendent.
Galinski, an Andover resident, has worked in Beverly for nine years, including six years as assistant superintendent and three years as superintendent.
In her resignation announcement, she cited as accomplishments the development of a five-year strategic plan, extensive professional development for teachers funded by two grants and implementation of a new teacher evaluation system mandated by the state.
Beverly High School has also achieved Level 1 academic status for the first time since 2007 and provides laptops for every student.
“She’s done a lot of good things in the district,” Decker said. “She’s been here for nine years, and we are in a fabulous place. I see us continuing to move forward and grow.”
Galinski said she will work with the School Committee to ensure a “smooth transition” to the new leadership.
Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or firstname.lastname@example.org.