LEICESTER, Mass. — Superintendent Paul Soojian will retire at the end of December, he announced at Tuesday night's School Committee meeting.
"It was a very difficult decision," said Soojian. "It's one that I've struggled with for about a year now, but it's one that I've made."
Soojian informed the school committee of his decision over the weekend.
"It's been over 23 years here in Leicester, as a teacher and then as superintendent, and I can't express enough how great an honor it was to represent the students here in Leicester and to work on their behalf."
Soojian said he has always appreciated the confidence and support from the school committee.
"I can tell you going forward that you've got a fantastic administrative team, excellent teachers, all of our support staff from custodians, instructional support, food service — everybody is just exemplary in their commitment to the children here in Leicester, and I would stack them up against anybody. They're second to none," he said.
School Committee Chair Scott Broskey said he was shocked when he first heard.
"I don't think anybody's cared more about our children, and the investment that these schools are in the community," he said, adding that Soojian has always gone above and beyond, working on weekends, going out to see the children in all their events.
"You're always there, you just never stop," Broskey told Soojian. "My hat's off to you for the type of person you are and the job that you've done."
Broskey and Deborah LaBombard will serve on a subcommittee to begin putting together a timeline to go forward with filling the position.