Officials with Newark Charter School have announced that longtime School Director, Greg Meece, is retiring this summer.
Students and families learned of the retirement when the school emailed them on Tuesday.
“Dear Newark Charter School Community:
It has been an honor to serve students and families in Delaware through my chosen vocation of education for nearly 40 years. The last 18 years can only be described as a “dream job” – starting and leading the greatest school of them all: Newark Charter School. It is, therefore, with mixed emotions that I am announcing my retirement this coming summer. By announcing this now, I give our Board of Directors ample time to find my replacement, and our Board has asked me to take a major role in the transition process.
I am confident that a qualified leader with creative ideas, loads of energy and a deep commitment to our school’s mission will take Newark Charter School to the next level.
Deciding to transition from something you’ve spent your whole adult life doing is not easy. Not when you love what you do. My wife Rosemary, also a career educator, is retiring as well. We have discussed this for a long time, and we agreed to make the move together.
Leaving the place you come to work each morning is especially hard when it is so much a part of you. My heart and soul are forever fused with this remarkable institution. I am part of this school and it is a part of me.
I feel that the time is right for me to step aside. I am leaving our community with a school that is in great shape now and is well-positioned for a bright and promising future. We recently completed our Strategic Long-Range Plan. Our charter has a brand-new 10-year renewal term. Our two-time National Blue Ribbon School earned “straight A’s” on all of Delaware’s 2018 measures of charter school success. We have a healthy waiting list of students. Our finances and management rank among the top charter schools in the country. We acquired land and a building next door where we can grow. We have made substantial progress on a plan to greatly enhance our campuses and buildings.
As you might imagine, building and directing Newark Charter School over the last 18 years has been an all-encompassing endeavor. While I will greatly miss the entire community, come July, I am excited to spend more time with my family. With my one-year-old granddaughter and my father in his 90s, it is an interesting time in one’s life to be a bridge that links generations. Beyond spending more time with family, I am not sure what the future holds for me. After a chance to “smell the roses,” I most likely will look forward to new challenges, either part-time or full-time, in education or in something completely different.
Change will be challenging for all of us. I offer this advice that I, too, try to remember every day: embrace change as something healthy and renewing. At the same time, never lose sight of what got us here, what we stand for, our “North Star.”
I am forever grateful to the founding board of directors who gave me this opportunity, and to the current board for their tremendous support. Nobody could ask for better colleagues. I am blessed to work beside so many teachers, staff and fellow administrators who bring true excellence to our school every day, for every child. Committed parents started Newark Charter School. I saw the powerful relationship between parents and staff – home and school. I will always cherish the many ways I have gotten to know and work with such involved and supportive partners in education.
Most of all, I will miss our students. Following Newark Charter School’s opening day of school in 2001, I mentioned to someone, “If my career ended today I would feel fulfilled.” Seeing children so happy, so proud to be here, even though their school was nothing more than rented trailers on a borrowed property, I knew that I was part of something special. Eighteen school years later, I retire with pride, gratitude, and love for the children who breathed life into this school and for all the students who make Newark Charter School such a wonderful place now and for many years to come.
A second letter from the Chair of the Board of Directors praised Meece and discussed the process the school will employee to find a replacement.
“Dear NCS Community Members,
Today on behalf of the Board, I write to inform you that as of June 30, 2019, Mr. Greg Meece will be retiring from his role as School Director of Newark Charter School. As he stated in his letter to you, this was not an easy decision for Greg nor one he came to without significant reflection. He and his wife Rosemary will be retiring together, as was their plan and it is a great chance for them to spend more time together and with their family. We knew this day would inevitably come and we fully understand, respect and honor his decision. That said, we are saddened to see him formally step away from NCS although we know that he is, and always will be a Patriot. His influence is literally and figuratively infused in every facet of our school.
As Chair of the Board of Directors as well as a parent of a current and former student, I have always been extremely proud of the tremendous passion and excellence that Greg Meece has brought to Newark Charter School over the past 18 years. Additionally, the Board wants to express its immense gratitude for Mr. Meece’s principled and visionary leadership since the school’s formation. He has led us from trailers to the multi-campus, multi-building facility in which we currently work and learn with a charter renewed through summer 2029. He led our school to an amazing track record of success and an outstanding reputation in Delaware, regionally and nationally. Perhaps most importantly, the legacy he has built is reflected in the incredible administrators, teachers, and staff he has brought to our
Selecting a new leader is one of the most significant and important functions a Board of Directors can undertake. It is a responsibility that I along with each Director take extremely seriously. The Board will begin the search process for a new School Director with an anticipated appointment for the 2019-2020 school year. The search process will involve representation from all constituencies in our NCS community and will include frequent communication to all members of NCS. We are enthusiastic about the opportunity to identify a successor who can build on the solid foundation established by Greg Meece for our school’s continued success in the future. Over the coming months, I hope that you will join with us as we thank Greg, wish him well and celebrate his everlasting contributions that have made us the exceptional educational community we are today. The passion and inspiration that Greg has brought to NCS is contagious, and we continue to look forward with excitement about the future of Newark Charter.
Dr. Franklin A. Newton
Chair of the Board of Directors”