Newport Superintendent John H. Ambrogi announced he would be retiring, effective Jan. 4, 2014, during Tuesday night’s school committee meeting at the Newport Area Career and Technical Center.
“It’s been 41 years, three states, one college and eight school districts,” Ambrogi said. “I believe now as I believed when I started, the most important thing a person can do is to contribute to the education of children.”
Ambrogi stated that, to clarify any rumors, he would not be taking vacation tme next December and will be with the schools through Christmas.
During his retirement, Ambrogi said he plans to spend his summers in Newport and winters in Florida.
Committee member Jo Eva Gained told Ambrogi, “I commend you for making the announcement in a timely fashion.” The early announcement will give the school committee the opportunity to conduct a search during the spring, which is the primary hiring time for a new superintendent, she said.
“Thank you for not waiting until September, which would have put us in a bind. Now we can have an orderly transition with the least disruption for students and staff.”
Ambrogi, who was hired as Newport’s Superintendent in 2005, has held the role in other communities since 1984.
In a letter to Chairman Charles Shoemaker, Ambrogi said when he was hired as Superintendent in Newport, he made three promises to the Newport School Committee: To provide a “quality education that would make a difference in each student’s life, to “find a solution to the elementary facilities problem”, and to bring financial discipline to the district.”
Ambrogi said although the tasks were more difficult than he expected, he believes that “together, we have substantially achieved those goals.”
Negotiating the Collective Bargaining Agreements with the Teachers Association of Newport and Council 94, which are set to expire in summer 2014, as well as developing a new administrative team and creating a successful budget are his expectations for his successor, he wrote.
“It has been an honor to have served them and to have worked with a fine and dedicated professional support staff. I have enjoyed my personal and professional relationships with individual school committee members and appreciate the time you devote to serve our community in the education of its children.”