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Watchung Hills' Superintendent to Retire

Frances Stromsland says she'll 'miss the people' more than the long days.

The Watchung Hills Board of Education accepted a letter of resignation from Superintendent Frances Stromsland Tuesday night, voting after she read an emotional letter expressing her love of the school. Dr. Stromsland will retire at the end of the school year. 

"It has been my distinct honor and pleasure to serve as leader of this distirct and now look forward to my next chapter," she said. 

Dr. Stromsland said she came to Watchung Hills Regional in 2001, and "recognized very quickly that it is a very special place."

Her tenure as superintendent began in the midst of major growth for Watchung Hills, as enrollment doubled and the staff grew substantially.

"I often worried about the impact and challenges of not having proper space or enough  space or enough space to properly serve our students," she said. "These times were stressful—but they were also exhillarating because we were infusing much new energy into the way we approached and delivered our curriculum, instruction and assessment to create meaningful experiences for our students.

"It was the right time to be here—for me," Dr. Stromsland added. "It was the right time for these things to happen."

Board President Robert Horowitz said the board will review two proposals for search firms to assist in finding the district's next superintendent at an upcoming meeting, with an eye towards identifying four to six candidates to be brought in for final interviews.

"We're so grateful for the years you've given us," board member Sondra Fechtner said before the vote to accept Stromsland's retirement. 

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