WILLIAMSTOWN - Rose Ellis, superintendent of the three school committees that make up the Williamstown-Lanesborough Tri-District, is planning to retire on Dec. 31.
Ellis' announcement on Tuesday follows 15 years of combined service to the district schools of Mount Greylock Regional High School and the Williamstown and Lanesborough elementary schools.
"I definitely have mixed emotions," Ellis said in her office on Tuesday. "I love what I do and I have enjoyed working in this community. I have a dedicated staff and administration and talented students."
She said the three districts were in "solid" positions, with the districtwide alignment of curriculum in recent years having benefited students and the admission of Mount Greylock into a building project with the state.
In a joint meeting on Tuesday afternoon, members of the three school committees began discussing strategy on a superintendent search. They were joined by Glenn Koocher, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees.
There was a consensus among attendees to begin a long-term superintendent search, opposed to an interim search. The next steps would include creation of a search committee, determining if an outside consultant was needed, and collecting criteria a superintendent should have, according to Mount Greylock School Committee Chairwoman Carrie Greene.
Ellis, who earns $160,633, has previously stated she would not seek renewal for her contract that expires June 30, 2015.
Ellis, 66, said she has no immediate plans for retirement, but intends to keep her options open. A native of Queens, N.Y., she lives in Williamstown with her husband, Steven Green. Together they have an adult daughter who is expecting her second child this fall.
Her 40 years in education has included teaching kindergarten and elementary levels, she said, and serving as a principal. Ellis was hired in 2000 as the interim superintendent and business manager of Williamstown Elementary School and oversaw the town's school building project, which was completed in 2002.
She assumed leadership of the Lanesborough Elementary School in 2008 when the former superintendent retired and led the initiative to form School Union 71, which consolidated both Lanesborough and Williamstown school districts.
After she was named superintendent of the Mount Greylock Regional School District in 2010, Ellis established a tri-district central office to oversee coordination between the three districts, which has roughly 1,200 students from preschool to Grade 12.
Greene praised Ellis for her strong work ethic and enthusiasm she brought to the position. She brought financial stability and a stronger school culture to Mount Greylock, she said, and was a strong supporter of faculty.
"She accomplished a tremendous amount in a short period of time," Greene said.
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