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It's time to travel, lose herself in a good book, enjoy more family time, and just live a beautiful life-these are the reasons that Nancy Bishop, longtime, well-respected principal of the Calvin Leete School, is retiring this July. With 15 years of good memories, coupled with hard work and educational innovation, Bishop said she's leaving the school in very good shape, ready for new leadership.
"I am very proud of the work I have done at the Calvin Leete School," explained Bishop. "This school has been named a school of distinction for the past two years, we have a wonderful staff, and we are doing amazing things educationally. The new playground will be finished by the time I leave, and I think we are extremely close to having full-day kindergarten. I feel the school is in its best shape, so I feel I am leaving it in a good place. That was important to me."
It was 19 years ago, while working at the White House for the Clinton administration, that Bishop, originally from upstate New York, decided that she wanted to get back to education.
"It was actually at my mother's funeral (she was a teacher) that I decided I wanted to get back to working with children and I wanted to make sure I was doing something that made a difference," said Bishop of the impetus that brought her to the position of assistant superintendent; a post she filled for four years before she took the position as the principal of the Calvin Leete School.
"I am truly walking away from something I love," explained a teary eyed Bishop when announcing her resignation to the Board of Education, which honored her with a standing ovation. "I just want to express how much I have loved being the principal of the Calvin Leete School. I will miss the children the most and the staff and families. It has just been a wonderful experience, and I am so proud and honored to have been here for so long."
"I will miss Nancy's professionalism and her positive attitude," said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Freeman.
Freeman added, "From the very first day I started here, Nancy opened her door to me and I will always be grateful to her for her help. I will miss working with [her]."
BOE member Alan Myers shared, "I will miss you terribly, Nancy."
Gary Kaisen, also a BOE member added, "We will all miss that warm smile."
Looking toward the excitement of her future, Bishop already has plans of traveling to the Italian Alps with her husband, Jonathan Bishop. Family weddings will bring the couple to France sometime soon and friends of hers have nuptials planned for Rio in the next few months.
"I am very excited. We will see what unfolds," said Bishop, who also is looking forward to consuming books of every genre in large quantities.
"I am very anxious to get back to reading. It's hard to slow down and find time to read right now, so I am really looking forward to having some extra time to sit down and get into some good books," said Bishop, who has been working for the past 50 years.
She added, "Right now, education is in such an exciting, ever-changing place, and my advice to those just starting out in this field is to be flexible. If you can be flexible, you will be successful."