Stonington – Schools superintendent Van Riley handed in his resignation letter Tuesday morning after leading the school system for the past nine years.
Riley wrote that he and the school board can mutually determine his last day of work once the board has a contract with a new superintendent. The search and hire process typically takes around six months.
âIt is important that the board of directors and the employees know that, as always, I will continue to be 100% committed to this district until the new superintendent is hired,â he wrote.
Education board chairman Frank Todisco said on Tuesday the board will discuss Riley’s resignation at its 7 p.m. meeting Thursday at Pawcatuck Middle School.
With four new members set to be elected to the seven-member board in the Nov. 2 municipal election, Todisco said he believes it should be up to the new board to decide how to proceed with the search for the superintendent. , because he will decide what qualities he is looking for in Riley’s successor.
Asked about Riley’s tenure, Todisco said, “Van is leaving the school district in a better place than he has found. He has made many contributions that have positively impacted the future of the district.”
Riley’s contract is not expected to expire until June 2022. In a performance review released last November, the board wrote that he “meets but rarely exceeds expectations.”
Riley, who earns just over $ 200,000 a year, had been criticized for the past two years for handling sexual harassment charges against former high school teacher Timothy Chokas and more recently for failing to send students back to class as quickly as neighboring districts.
In his resignation letter, Riley listed 14 accomplishments of the school system during his tenure, including program improvements, the consolidation of the city’s two colleges, the opening of two renovated and expanded elementary schools, the establishment of partnerships with local organizations, improved food service and proactive management of COVID. -19 pandemic. He also highlighted the many important awards that the school system has won during his tenure.
âI am very proud to develop a team of exemplary teachers, administrators and support staff who are dedicated to helping every student reach their potential,â Riley wrote in her resignation letter. “This team has the highest academic standards and expectations for all of our students.”
âI really enjoyed my time in Stonington and thank the board for the opportunity to serve our community,â he added.
Riley also wrote that it has been “an honor to serve the community and the students of Stonington for over nine years”.
He noted that the district faces significant challenges right now, not the least of which is the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the four new members to be elected to the school board, Riley wrote, it is “the opportune time for the new board to choose its principal.”