SHRUB OAK, N.Y. – The upcoming school year will be Dr. George Stone’s 10th and final one as superintendent of the Lakeland Central School District.

Stone’s retirement, accepted by the school board last week, will be official on June 30, 2020.

“While there comes a time in everyone’s life when they need to take a little time to relax and enjoy life and spoil grandkids, I’ll be leaving the best job in the best place that I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a lot of jobs in a lot of places,” Stone said at the June 6 school board meeting.

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Stone, 67, was hired away from the Cape Henlopen School District in Delaware in April 2010.

He began his educational career in 1974 as an elementary school teacher in Bladensburg, Md. He spent the next 20-plus years working as a teacher and principal in West Virginia and Delaware before being named superintendent of the Delmar School District in Delaware in 1996.

In announcing his retirement, Stone praised Lakeland, saying the district should be viewed as a “model” for public education.

“My biggest regret is that I won’t be here to see everything finished that I helped start,” Stone said, “but I’ll do everything that I possibly can to help whoever sits in this chair next to get it done.

“My heart will break leaving here,” he continued.

Denise Kness, president of the Lakeland school board, said Stone embodies many of the qualities that make an effective leader.

“Personally, I’ve learned from him that you can never be satisfied with how things are and always be willing to improve,” Kness said. “When you make a mistake, you own it, and you always give credit to those who do a good job around you.”