MANSFIELD — Dan Freund called it “the hardest letter I’ve ever had to write.”
On Tuesday, the three-year Mansfield City School superintendent, often deemed an instrumental part of the district’s recent improvements, submitted his letter of resignation to the board.
Freund’s retirement will be effective July 1.
“The last three years have allowed me to apply a lot of learning and affirm to me a lot of things I really believe about education, boards and how systems work,” he read from his letter. “When a board places the interests of students first and places a value on teacher morale, amazing things can happen.
“From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all. I’m not going far. If there is anything I can do to help, I will.”
Freund, 64, came to Mansfield after six years as superintendent at Clear Fork.
He told the board he had four reasons for his decision, then named each of his grandchildren.
“And they live 2,000 miles from here,” he said. “I see them once, maybe twice a year and I really want to see them more.”
Board member Lowell Smith said he remembered hiring Freund at the start of his educational career as a special education teacher at John Sherman Elementary School.
“Dan has done a tremendously outstanding job and we’re going to miss him,” Smith said.
Board President Chris Elswick said the board will start looking immediately for a new superintendent. He said he hopes to have a leader hired by June 30.
New Leader in a few short weeks?, one can only assume this has been in the works for a while. Hard to believe such a great leader can be replaced this fast? MP Author
“At times, things here have been overwhelming, but at the end of the day, it’s been really satisfying,” Elswick said. “Dan, you’re a great part of that. We’ve made a lot of progress in the last three years. It will be a difficult time when you go, but I know you have faith we’ll power through.”
Board member Dina Davis said Freund was hired when there was a “true sense of turmoil” in the district.
“Anyone would have said you’re crazy to come into the mess you did, but you immediately went to the teachers and the staff and developed a leadership team like I’ve never seen.”
“I appreciate your compassion, heart and soul for the children of this district,” member Renda Cline said.
Board member Cliff Crose said the retirement letter was the most difficult he has had to read.
“I hate to see it,” he said.
In other business, Barbara Gopp, the superintendent’s executive assistant in the Raemelton central office, will retire July 1.
The Mansfield City Schools Board of Education acted on her retirement Tuesday evening.
“It’s been a wonderful opportunity,” Gopp said. “I learned a lot about millions of things and met a lot of wonderful people. I have mixed feelings about leaving, but my family says it’s time.”
Gopp began work in the district in 1978 as a paraprofessional at Carpenter Elementary School. From 1981 to 1986 she was building secretary at Prospect Elementary School. She served as executive secretary to the Office of Curriculum and Instruction in the central office from 1986 to 2005, then served three years as the superintendent’s secretary.
From Jami’s facebook page
BREAKING NEWS: Mansfield City Schools Superintendent Dan Freund, who has played an instrumental part in the district’s improvements, just announced his retirement at tonight’s board meeting. His secretary Barb Gopp is also retiring — both effective July 1. Both cited family reasons for their decisions.
Wally Toward Just double dipping. Itruely believe that we have the best board we have had in years and that most of the teachers want success BUT, this system is a complete failure. In the bottom 4 in the state out of 613 districtsfor academics. But we spend more that double the state average per student. Major problems that are not being solved. With so many parents not caring, I doubt if it can get any better.