Warwick to retire as Springfield, Mass. school superintendent
Springfield Superintendent of Schools Daniel Warwick announced his retirement Monday, effective at the end of this school year. That's after more than a decade on the job.
Warwick has spent 48 years overall working for the Springfield schools, beginning as a substitute teacher and rising through the ranks.
At a city hall press conference, in a room full of school department employees, an emotional Warwick said after discussing things with his family, he decided the time was right to step aside.
"It's been an honor and pleasure to serve the Springfield Public Schools for the last 48 years. I think our system has done incredible things and I'm just very proud to be part of it," he said, being greeted several times by applause.
During his tenure the district saw a large gain in the graduation rate, from 56.4% when he took over to 84.6% most recently, according to statistics furnished by the city. The number of students dropping out also decreased dramatically, from 10% to 3.9%.
"I think it was a data-based approach. We took a look at the data, we took a look at best practices across the country, we worked with tremendous principals and teams," he said when asked about the keys to those improvements.
Also, Warwick oversaw nearly $1 billion worth of construction and renovations to Springfield’s schools, with eight new buildings coming online.
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno lauded Warwick and said the two had a very good working relationship, adding Warwick “will go down as one of the best superintendents our city has ever had, if not the best.”
As for the next superintendent in Springfield, the school committee, which Sarno chairs in his role as mayor, will form a subcommittee to begin the search process before the full board eventually votes on a new leader.
Sarno said Warwick’s predecessor will be inheriting a district in good shape.
"Big shoes to fill, but there's a solid, solid foundation that the superintendent has created for he or she to come in and continue to move each and every one of our students and their families forward," the mayor said.
And asked what advice he had for the next superintendent. Warwick offered: "They are very, very fortunate to inherit an incredible leadership team, outstanding principals, and a tremendous teaching group... work cooperatively with those folks, and things will go just fine.”
Warwick is a Springfield native and is the son of Irish immigrants. Besides his time as a substitute teacher, he’s also worked in the school district as a special education teacher, special education supervisor and building principal before moving on to administration. He was hired as superintendent in 2012.