Saying he wanted to spend more time with his family, Columbia County Superintendent Charles Nagle said Thursday he plans to retire at the end of the upcoming school year.
Nagle, a longtime educator and administrator beginning his sixth year as superintendent, told the school system Principals’ Conference he will step down June 30.
“Thirty-seven years is a long time to give to public service,” he said. “I feel that while I’m still healthy, I would like to be able to spend more time with my family.”
Nagle has been an administrator or teacher in Columbia County schools since 1989. He served as associate superintendent eight years, before becoming superintendent in 2007.
“To be able to be a superintendent in a school system like Columbia County is very humbling,” Nagle said. “It’s an awesome responsibility.”
While noting the challenges of growing class sizes and state funding cuts, he said county school test scores continue to improve.
“We’ve struggled through the economy, but we’ve always been able to come out on top,” Nagle said.
School Board Chairwoman Regina Buccafusco said Nagle’s devotion to education has always been clear.
“What’s best for students,” she said, “that’s always been his mantra.
“That’s why I think the board was so much behind him all these years,” she said. “There’s no ego involved in it. It’s all just a love for what he’s doing.”
Nagle commended the school board for its support.
“Our school board is very knowledgeable, and know and love education,” he said. “They’re there because they care about education, not because they want to be a politician, which makes our board unique.”
The board, told Tuesday of Nagle’s decision to retire, will be tasked with finding a replacement. Buccafusco said she and other members have begun discussing when to start the search.
“I think the search is going to take a good bit,” she said. “Many, many people would like to come work with us. It’s something we take seriously as a board.”
Though Nagle might be retiring as superintendent, he said he plans to continue working in some capacity, possibly doing consulting work or speaking to groups.
“I’m looking so forward to spending time with my children and my grandchildren,” he said. “That’s very important to me.”