East Hampton Superintendent of Schools Dr. Judith Golden has announced she will be retiring.
"I'm retiring but I'm also going to be serving as superintendent from July to December," Golden said on Tuesday.
Though Golden had worked out the details and timing of her departure with the Board of Education, her announcement wasn't official until after the board met in executive session on Monday night.
Golden, who has worked for 42 years in the field of education, will be retiring at the end of June and will be paid a percentage of her salary from that point. She likened it to an interim superintendency for six months.
"We hope to get through several things," she said. "Teacher's negotiations, the referendum for the high school and a search for a good superintendent. Our goal is to get that all done by the end of December."
Prior to arriving in East Hampton, Golden served in Wethersfield as an assistant superintendent for four years and a curriculum director for two years.
She has been at East Hampton the past five years.
"It has been such an honor and such a privilege to work with the people here," Golden said. "The board, the staff, the administrators and even the community, and we've done such very good work. I'm so proud of the work we've done. I feel like I'm leaving at a good time where we've done this really good work and people are able to carry that work on and I know that they will."
Golden described her relationship with the board as a "team" and "tight."
"It's been a very wonderful thing working for this board," she said. "They've been so supportive and allow us to be so focused on what is important. This community should really thank their lucky stars for the board of ed because they are really, really a wonderful group of people."
Board chairman Mark Laraia was equally generous in his praise of Golden and what she has been able to accomplish.
"She's been great to work with," he said. "She's someone who came in and definitely had a vision of what she wanted to see East Hampton turn into and it's on its way. I think that's one of the reasons she feels good about leaving when she is because we are on a good path right now and its because of her leadership and she is definitely someone who leads by example. ... She's tops, there's no doubt about it. It's a big loss for the town. It really is."
The board began discussing on Monday night a timeframe to initiate its search for a new superintendent, which Laraia said will probably begin in late June or early July.
Accdording to Laraia, there are 22 openings for a school superintendent in the state, which could complicate the search. However, he pointed to the advantages East Hampton had, such as being a small town, good tests scores, support of the community and the path the District is on.
"I have a 14-year-old who has gone through the school system and he's had a great experience and it starts at the top, not only Dr. Golden but the administration and the teachers, too," Laraia said.