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EDITORIAL: Family Comes First

“I finally asked myself, “Who needs me more?” And that’s when I realized; it’s somebody else’s turn to do this job. I’m indispensable to my kids, but I’m not close to indispensable to the White House.” - Mary Matalin

   In this week’s Groton Herald, John Ellenberger reports on Kristan Rodriguez’s reason for resigning as Superintendent of the Groton Dunstable Regional School System. In her conversations with the Groton Herald, Dr. Rodriguez says unequivocally that she is resigning because her children need her at this stage of their lives. [See front-page story] In our view, there is no better reason to resign. Family comes first. We applaud her courage to make what, without doubt, must have been a gut-wrenching decision.

    When Dr. Rodriguez announced her resignation, she did not make the reasons for her resignation crystal clear. Although she said she resigned for family reasons, a reasonable person could suppose there were other important aspects to her thinking since the excuse of wanting ‘to spend more time with my family’ is the most common euphemism for leaving a fraught job situation.

   So, it was important for Dr. Rodriguez to state her reason for leaving forthrightly, plainly and unequivocally. Without such a clear, direct statement, the true reasons for her resignation would have become fodder for rumors and unhealthy speculation for years to come. Now she has done so. She is leaving to fulfill a higher duty, her role as mother to her children. Now, we as a town and as a district can move on too and fulfill our duty, continuing to provide the best education we can for the town’s young people.

   Dr. Rodriguez brought a spirit of passion and love for Groton-Dunstable students, for professional educators and for the mission of education - for which she will be remembered fondly. She is a dedicated, high-spirited person and we will miss her. Despite all the battle scars, she leaves a stronger school system. We thank her for her service, leadership and incredibly hard work.

  We are entering a new and different era, an era where fiscal viability and sustainability of the town and district are moving to the forefront of concern. Audits of both the town and school operations will present a new and very different set of challenges than the concerns of the recent past. We need to focus on this problem, the problem of maintaining adequate funding for both school and town.

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