Cobleskill-Richmondville Superintendent Lynn Macan, who led the district through difficult financial times, is retiring at the end of the school year.
Dr. Macan, 51, believes C-R needs new leadership and wants to spend more time with her family.
Her retirement letter reached the school board and C-R staff last week. School board President Bruce Tryon said Dr. Macan will be greatly missed.
"Lynn's worked tirelessly in and out of the district for our students," he said.
"She's positioned the district well for success."
A former assistant superintendent at Niskayuna, Dr. Macan started at C-R in 2007-08, replacing Sam Shevat.
After a calm first year, finances became a major issue. The recession started, and state aid to schools stayed flat or declined as expenses rose.
"The first year was great. The second year I was laying off teachers," Dr. Macan said.
She described the financial straits as wearing, always influencing decisions, not only for C-R but for other Schoharie County schools.
As the economy worsened, Dr. Macan found it difficult "to balance finances and instruction," she said. And the inequities between wealthy suburban districts and struggling rural schools struck her.
"I found it hard to go to meetings and see that the impact was small on districts of greater wealth," she said.
"The community is doing the best it can with its kids, but we have less to help them."
The financial climate influenced her decision to retire, made over the holiday break.
"I think the district would benefit from a fresh set of eyes and new ideas," Dr. Macan said.
Despite money troubles, Dr. Macan is proud of her accomplishments: increased professional development for teachers, more offerings at the high school, greater cooperation with surrounding districts.
"And the end product I'm always proud of," Dr. Macan said, referring to students.
"We're competitive in students going to college, and support and are respectful of those going into the work force or the service. I didn't create that, but I hope I contributed."
Dr. Macan said she's not leaving to be a superintendent in another district. Having been in public education for 30 years and having earned her doctorate, she wants to use her knowledge and experience in part-time work or teaching at the college level.
She and her husband, Ron, will stay in the area and spend more time with their grandchildren and a great-grandchild.
"It's quality of life," Dr. Macan said. "I want more flexibility."
But she'll miss Cobleskill-Richmondville.
"In my seven years here, we've hired wonderful administrators, teachers and support staff," she said. "We have fabulous people here."
C-R is beginning the search for her successor immediately. (See related story.)