Dr. Dempsey announces resignation as Superintendent

Student+watches+Dr.+Dempseys+resignation+speech+at+Board+of+Education+meeting

Ella Patel

Student watches Dr. Dempsey’s resignation speech at Board of Education meeting

Ella Patel, Staff Writer

At the Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, September 21, 2022, Dr. Gretchen Dempsey announced her resignation as superintendent of the Somerset Hills School District. Dr. Dempsey announced her request to terminate her contract of employment in February, 2023. She was named superintendent in the spring of 2018, and she states that her time serving as district superintendent was “a professional honor and privilege second to none.” 

In her resignation speech, Dr. Dempsey states, “Honestly, to a certain extent I’ve always relied upon my gut when it comes to timing. And though I don’t know at this point what I will be doing come February 4, 2023, my gut says it’s time to move on.”

Dempsey has worked for roughly twenty years in the Somerset Hills School District. During that time she has served this school district as a third grade teacher, a math specialist, an assistant principal at Bedwell, a principal at the middle school, and a superintendent for the last four years.

Board member Heather Santoro comments, “it is with great sadness later this evening that I will vote to accept your resignation” and states, “I am grateful to you Dr. Dempsey for your unwavering steadfast leadership and your total and ultimate dedication to the students of the Somerset Hills School District.”

Another member, Samantha Frenda states, “I am profoundly grateful for all that she has given us during her time serving the district.”

Both members gave praising remarks on Dempsey’s service as superintendent as they recount her achievements as an administrator.

Dempsey has achieved various accomplishments during her tenure, one specifically significant and lasting impact was her work in response to the pandemic.  She shares, “I’m proud of the fact that despite a global pandemic, I leave the district with a well documented strategic plan, one that was devised with significant community input and can help guide the work of the next three to five years.”

As her resignation date approaches, the school must begin their search for a new superintendent. Dr. Dempsey has no contribution in neither this procedure nor the selection process. Dr. Dempsey shares, “I will certainly do all I can to support the new superintendent’s transition once he/she is selected.”

In preparing for her departure, Dempsey states, “at this point I am working closely with the principals, the supervisors, and the Assistant Superintendent to be sure their goals for the year are clearly defined,” as well as seeing to it that they have everything they need to successfully accomplish these goals through the school year. She ensures that she “will continue to work hard to serve the students and staff of Somerset Hills School District” until her departure in February.