School committee pays tribute to retiring administrator

Jun 12, 2020

Joint Old Rochester Regional School Committee members honored Dr. Douglas White, the district’s retiring superintendent, on June 11. 

School Committee member Shannon Finning acknowledged that it “feels a little anticlimactic not to be together to celebrate.  

In a statement from the district’s principals, Rosemary Bowman said White brought with him knowledge of the best practices in the educational community, started flex blocks and advisory blocks, increased collaboration among educators, and grew the use of technology. 

She said the high achievement on state standardized tests like MCAS and a high graduation rate are the results of White’s hard work and leadership. 

On behalf of her colleagues, she wished White “love and happiness to light your way,” adding, “congratulations on a job well done.” 

White said “I appreciate those words from you and hope the work continues and our friendship continues as we move on,” 

He praised what he called a talented team of administrators that stayed intact until last summer and the parents of the Tri-Town, saying that “parent engagement is the highest I have ever seen.”

The superintendent was proud that ORR has gotten national and state recognitions, and that the graduation is one of the top in the state, as is the number of students going to college.  

White was also proud that so few students with special needs chose to seek services outside the district, saying that this showed ORR had met their complex needs. 

He rattled off a dizzying list of state initiatives that he has led the district through, from the No Child Left Behind policy to the MCAS 2.0, the next generation, computer-based MCAS and remote learning. 

The retiring superintendent recalled that when he first arrived teachers were using projectors and students had to go to labs to use computers. Now, almost every student has direct access to computers from their desk. 

He is glad that he was able to develop a good relationships with the member towns, and said, “I always felt the town officials supported education,” adding that in a way, the timing for the transition is perfect, since two of the towns have new Town Administrators as well.  

White said for years he has given the students of the district his all. Now, “it is time for me to go home and give them 100% of me. I can’t wait to get to know my grandchildren like I have my students.”