PERU - The end of the school year will mark the end of an era for A. Paul Scott.
The Peru Central School District superintendent of schools will retire this June after more than a decade of service. Scott said he personally called each of the school district's seven board of education members prior to winter recess last month to first inform them of his decision.
"I thought it was very appropriate and important that each of them heard directly from me so they understood why I thought this was the right time," said Scott.
Scott, who started his career in education 34 years ago as a music teacher, said he made his intentions known midyear because he wanted to give the board of education ample time before the end of the school year to find his replacement. As to why he's retiring, Scott said he's been eligible to retire for the past two years, and only recently gave it more thought.
"I can tell you, as a music teacher, there's a lot to be said that the end of the performance should be when people might still be looking for just one more selection rather than wondering when the performance is going to end," he said candidly. "Everybody reaches a time when it seems like this is the right time and, at this particular moment in time, I feel it's the right time."
Throughout his tenure, Scott said he's seen many accomplishments for the district, including high marks across the board with each of the districts four schools. The high school's participation and success in the College for Every Student program was one that immediately came to mind for Scott. He also touted the continued modernization of the district campus through various capital improvement projects. That is something he credits to the taxpayers within the district who have voted time and again to make improvements that ultimately benefit the students, said Scott.
"One of the more challenge aspects as a superintendent of schools, is trying to balance the interests of what will benefit children with the interest of what the community can take on and financially support at any given point in time," said Scott. "We've tried to be as efficient as we can."
Scott credited the "strong set" of administrators, operations supervisors, faculty members and support staff for making the decision easier for him to say goodbye.
"For a superintendent, when those elements are in place, that is an ideal time to consider if [retirement] seems suitable personally," said Scott. "This organization is well-prepared to face the future and to respond to what's ahead with the interests of students and the community in mind."
"It's not the case of one superintendent doing that work," emphasized Scott. "It's the case of the seven elected officials, the administrators, operations supervisors and staff working together."
The board of education will now actively pursue finding Scott's replacement while Scott said the district will continue its focus on increasing graduation rates and continuing to improve curriculum instruction.