WEST CALDWELL, NJ — Upon her retirement after 17 years in the district, Washington Elementary School principal Barbara Adams was honored on Monday by members of the school community and the Caldwell-West Caldwell Board of Education.

Superintendent of Schools James Heinegg noted that her “leadership, earned respect and sense of humor” was admired by her colleagues, staff and parents alike. He further stated that Adams was “a great model for independent thinking and never has been afraid to offer a different opinion.”

Former Superintendent Dr. Daniel Gerardi, also a former principal of Washington Elementary School, commented that after the interview process, he knew the district made the right choice in hiring Adams. Describing Adams as a “dedicated and compassionate educator,” Gerardi thanked Adams for her mentorship of others.

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Scott Keena, principal of Wilson Elementary School, said Adams “was a dear, dear friend and the sister I never had.” He remarked that no matter how late he stayed at work, there was “someone who always stayed later, and that was Barbara.”

Former board members Mary Davidson and Joseph McCann also attended the meeting and offered Adams their congratulations on a long and successful career.

"The board got it right when they selected you due to your child centered leadership,” said Davidson.

Adams thanked everyone in attendance for their support throughout the years.

“If I touched a few lives along the way, then I achieved my career goals,” she said. 

Adams is in the process of preparing for a smooth transition when her retirement becomes effective on Jan. 31. Dalia Mirrione will serve as interim principal for the remainder of the school year until Judi Jacobs takes over as the new principal on July 1.