July 23, 2008

Nashua Elementary School Principal Retires

By Michael Brindley, The Telegraph, Nashua, N.H.

Jul. 23--NASHUA -- There will be a need for another new principal in Nashua after Bill Pimley, a lifelong Nashua educator and principal New Searles Elementary School, announced his retirement.

Pimley, 59, said he chose to retire after 38 years working in the city's schools because of his desire to keep doing something different in his life.

"I think it's time for a change," he said.

Pimley started working in Nashua in 1970 as a teacher at Mount Pleasant Elementary School. He also worked as a teacher at Main Dunstable Elementary School and served as principal at Charlotte Avenue Elementary School before taking over at New Searles.

Pimley said he didn't start thinking about retirement until recently, but said he believes it will serve the best interest of the school.

"It gives the school a fresh start, and it gives me a fresh start," he said. "Change is a good thing."

Pimley said he has no regrets about leaving the classroom for the principal's office. Just like in the classroom, each day as a principal brought new challenges, he said.

"I feel very good about everything," he said. "It was part of the process of growing and changing and doing something different."

The district has had to replace several principal positions this year.

Five new principals were recently assigned to schools in the district after a slew of retirements.

Amherst Street Elementary School Principal Janet Valeri was also transferred to Ledge Street Elementary School.

Once a replacement for Pimley is found, it will mean that the district will enter the year with seven of the city's 18 schools under new leadership.

The school board approved Pimley's retirement at a meeting Monday night.

At the same meeting, the board approved rehiring Pimley as a part-time district wide REACH specialist.

"I'm not done yet," Pimley said. "I really want to be able some add fuel to the fire."

This is not the first time an administrator has been brought back to work after retiring. Former Mount Pleasant Principal Bruce Geer announced his retirement earlier this year, and was then rehired as a part-time Title I teacher.

At recent meetings, some school board members have inquired about whether the district has any policies on bringing back retired administrators to work on a part-time basis.

This allows for public employees to collect their retirement benefits and stay on staff in some capacity.

Assistant Superintendent Ed Hendry said Pimley had shown interest in the REACH position and applied for it when it was posted. Hendry said the position was open to any interested candidates, and Pimley was chosen.

A spokesperson for the state's retirement system said it was legal for the school district to hire retired principals back as part-time teachers.

As for finding a replacement for Pimley, Hendry said there have been discussions about the process, but couldn't add anything about whom the district may be considering or when a decision might be made.

"We clearly need to have a principal sooner than later," he said.


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