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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

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East School principal to retire

Updated 5:47 pm, Thursday, February 13, 2014
  • East Elementary School Principal Alexandra "Bunny" Potts in a Feb. 12 photo. Potts has announced she will retire at the end of this school year. Photo: Nelson Oliveira / New Canaan News
    East Elementary School Principal Alexandra "Bunny" Potts in a Feb. 12 photo. Potts has announced she will retire at the end of this school year. Photo: Nelson Oliveira

 

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After 25 years with the New Canaan Public Schools, East Elementary School Principal Alexandra "Bunny" Potts is retiring in June.

"After much deliberation, I have decided that it is time to retire from my position," she wrote in a recent letter to Schools Superintendent Mary Kolek. "This is a difficult decision, but I feel that the time is right for me and for East School."

The Board of Education voted to accept her resignation Monday at a special meeting at New Canaan High School.

Potts, who has been the principal since 1999, said there is no one reason why she decided to leave.

"You just get old," she said Wednesday. "I've been here for a long time. It's now time for me to spend a little more time with my family."

Potts also said she's happy to leave the school in great condition.

"My goal was always to hand the school over in a great shape," she said. "It's a good time for me to hand it to someone else."

She started working at East School in 1989 as a third-grade teacher. Eight years later, she became assistant principal.

But prior to 1989, Potts already was involved with the New Canaan schools though the Parents-Teacher Council, as a teaching assistant and as a long-term substitute teacher, she said.

Board of Education Chairman Hazel Hobbs said Potts has done "a wonderful job" as an educator in New Canaan.

"She's been a remarkable woman and an extraordinary principal," Hobbs said. "She's very intelligent and very respected by her peers."

Director of Human Resources Gary Kass, who met Potts in her first year as a teacher, agreed with Hobbs.

"She's an outstanding educator," he said. "She has devoted her time to students, staff members, parents and the community."

Kass said the district would start looking for a replacement in the next few days. Potts' last day will be June 30.

The principal said she knows she's making the right decision, but she said it won't be an easy transition.

"This is a very bittersweet time," Potts said. "I know it's time for me to go to the next phase of my life, but I'm going to miss all the kids, the teachers, the parents."

In her letter, she praised the contributions of the people she's worked with during her career.

"It has been a great privilege to work in New Canaan for the past 25 years," Potts wrote. "I learned a great deal as a teacher and I worked with dedicated and intelligent educators who care deeply about students and families.

"I have had the opportunity to work with three superintendents and several assistant superintendent. I thank them all for the example they have set for me and for the support they have provided. They have been tireless in their pursuit of excellence and in their commitment to students."

Potts said she knows the school is in good hands.

"I will miss the best job in the world, but I know East School will continue to be a very special place for children," she said.

noliveira@bcnnew.com, 203-330-6582, @olivnelson