CHESHIRE -- Monday's Adams-Cheshire Regional School District (ACRSD) committee meeting ended an era, as it was the last for two of the district's most prominent figures, Superintendent Alfred Skrocki and his assistant, Nancy Delorey.
Combined, Skrocki and Delorey have more than 60 years of experience in the district.
The pair have served together in their respective roles for 14 years, overseeing a digital revolution, constant retooling to suit new educational reform ideas and the comings and goings of thousands of area youths, including the children of neighbors and family.
But progress demands no pause, Skrocki indicated during an interview with the Transcript on Wednesday, when he set sights on the future before noting a career full of "hundreds of great memories and stories."
Efforts to bump up MCAS scores, making improvements detailed by 2009's federal Race to the Top (RTTT) initiative and employing data and core curriculums to improve instruction topped Skrocki's priorities.
"We can always do better and improve, and we should keep that in our minds," Skrocki said. "The final measure of how we do is the kids that have succeeded. Not making [success] happen for one kid or 50 kids, but 100 percent. It's got to be that way."
Skrocki said a finer reading of October's MCAS scores shows that nearly all students "are at the cusp" of breaking into the next scoring category, which would pull up the district's total ranking.
"[Nearly all students are] literally within a couple of points from advancing from one level to the next," Skrocki said.
Earlier this month, the district set the goal of reducing proficiency gaps by half by 2016-17.
Skrocki addressed RTTT reforms with confidence. Though work-heavy and comprehensive in asking for focused curriculums and data use, Skrocki said the push to reform has come from teachers as much as administrators, and the district's "priorities and beliefs" were already in line with the initiative.
"Overall, I think we're in excellent shape in regard to the district's setup and the people we have in place," Skrocki said. " ... For that, I credit staff and administration, students and parents, and the two communities. Their support is the reason why we're in good shape."
Delorey was proud to count her own daughter among the district's success stories, who graduated from Hoosac Valley and went onto a career in social work.
"I have a five-year-old grandson and I'm looking forward to catching up with everything at home," Delorey said of her retirement.
Skrocki credited Delorey as being the face of the district to outsiders, saying the two have had a "tremendous relationship" over their 14 years.
"Nancy is certainly the first point of contact for anybody who comes to our district," Skrocki said. "She's the one who sets the tone for what our district is and how it operates."
Skrocki looks forward to travel and his "first weeklong vacation in 30 years" during retirement. But, Skrocki added, "I won't be far."
Skrocki's Superintendent role will be filled by Kristen Gordon, former C.T. Plunkett Elementary School principal, and Lisa Bresett, Gordon's secretary, will assume Delorey's position.
To reach Phil Demers, email email@example.com.