After 11 years with the East Rockaway School District — the last five as superintendent — Dr. Roseanne Melucci announced her retirement at a Board of Education meeting last week.
“When I came to East Rockaway in 2002, I didn’t know how long I would be here,” said Melucci, who was hired as the director of curriculum and technology and eventually was appointed superintendent. “As I got to know the incredible staff, students and parents, it became clear to me that I would remain here until the end of my career. Eleven years later, that time has come.”
During her tenure, Melucci said, the district has gone through the hardest economic crisis, and survived. “We’ve moved forward … through strategic budgeting, grants and a technology reserve,” she said. “We have not only maintained our facilities, but improved upon them each year to make them more conducive to effective instruction. We’ve hired a work force that is willing to go above and beyond, and that has been evident in recent months. We’ve budgeted carefully to make sure we had reserves for a rainy day — or a hurricane day!”
Being at the school when the community endured Hurricane Sandy and its devastating aftermath was, and is, Melucci said, one of the most difficult things she has ever done. Although she and other administrators recently returned to their refurbished offices at East Rockaway High School, students are still displaced, attending classes at two Baldwin elementary schools until work is finished in East Rockaway. “But watching what happens … watching [the students’] resiliency… that’s a wonderful thing,” Melucci said.
She added that the decision to retire has been in the works for a while. “My family and I have a certain timeline,” she said. “It’s always been a part of our multi-year plan.” (Her husband, Ranier Melucci, retired as superintendent of the Merrick schools in June 2012.)