YORKTOWN, N.Y. – The camera stopped rolling at Monday night’s Board of Education meeting to offer board members and faculty the chance to collect themselves after Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ralph Napolitano formally announced his intent to retire from the district at the end of the school year.
The entire left side of the room was filled with faculty members, all there to honor the man who has led the district since 2006. After an emotional announcement delivered by Jackie Carbone, school board president, Napolitano received a standing ovation from everyone in the room.
So touched, Napolitano stepped away from the microphone to stand closer to the group as he told them how important they were to him.
An educator of 43 years, Napolitano’s time at Yorktown was just a small portion of his career; however, he said the faculty and students left a huge imprint on his life. His retirement is effective Tuesday, July 11.
“This has been an incredible place for me,” he said. “I have loved it.”
As he announced the end of his career to a room of his peers, he shared the memory of when he announced the start of it to a much smaller audience. He shared how delighted his parents were when he told them that he would be earning $6,800 teaching seven classes of more than 500 kids 43 years ago.
“They thought it was the greatest opportunity of a lifetime,” he said. “And you know, it was. It really was.”
Prior to the conclusion of the meeting, the board members took turns saying a few words about Napolitano. Many said working with him was an honor and that he has been a “tremendous teacher” to students, parents and faculty alike.
“I would like you to know you will always be remembered, you will be missed,” said Reshmi Bose, board trustee.
Assistant Superintendent, Lisa O’Shea said, “Your impact is going to be felt for a long time.”