The surprise retirement of Mars Area Superintendent William Pettigrew next year "will leave a gaping wound in each board member's heart," board President J. Dayle Ferguson said Tuesday.
The board voted unanimously -- but with "great regret and sadness," Mrs. Ferguson said -- to accept Mr. Pettigrew's retirement on or before Dec. 1, 2013.
Mr. Pettigrew has said that he will leave earlier if the state changes the rules for pensions.
He has been superintendent in Mars Area for 25 years and has overseen tremendous growth in the district.
"I've enjoyed my stay here at the Mars Area School District. I've always been impressed with the area. I've always been impressed with the staff," he said.
"Overall, I have no regrets as to my tenure here, and I have enjoyed myself quite a bit."
Mrs. Ferguson said Mr. Pettigrew will be missed.
"So many have had the privilege to work with you as you steadily guided us through many changes in public education and in our own growing community," she said.
"You've given your very best to the students, staff and Mars community for 25 years, and it shows."
In other action, the board approved new music textbooks for grades 2-4.
The book will be online, but a set will be in the classroom.
Cost for the books and the seven-year license for the online textbook is $4,185.
The board also approved posting a "bring your own technology" policy on the district Website.
"We want to allow students to use their own technology in a more seamless way in school," Mr. Pettigrew said.
"I want us thinking about it and not just talking about it and adopting something, if not in January, definitely in February," he said.
Sandy Trozzo, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org