San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Gerald Rosander said Wednesday that he will leave his county post at the end of the year to fulfill other aspirations and to “get off the treadmill.”
Rosander, 55, who took the San Diego position in January, 1979, said his resignation is effective in January, 1987. He was formerly superintendent of the Fresno Unified School District.
During Rosander’s administration, the County Office of Education gained a reputation for its school staff development programs, including its training academies for school administrators.
“We have the finest professional staff, we have the largest administrative training center in the United States. This is a time to leave with satisfaction,” he said.
He announced the resignation at a Board of Education meeting Wednesday and will tell the entire staff in an open meeting at 8:30 a.m. today.
Rosander’s announcement surprised his colleagues, according to Carol Pugmire, assistant superintendent of personnel services.
“The staff is surprised and saddened. He is a very popular superintendent. But they are excited that he is going forth with lots of opportunities and he is young enough to do it, " Pugmire said. “He is on the crest of a wave. He has already put to bed all the things he’s wanted to do (with the county).”
Rosander emphasized it was the right time to leave.
“I want to do other things with my professional life. I have been almost 35 years in public education and in two large superintendencies,” he said.
“Any time you leave a job the automatic question is why. I left Fresno to come to San Diego for a new challenge, and now it is time for others.”
Rosander said he is interested in teaching at the university level, writing a book on administrative leadership and refurbishing the historic school house he lives in with his wife Kendra and their children.
He said he is busy installing a New England-style picket fence at the old 1885 Jamacha School on a site between El Cajon and Jamul.
He added that he would like to “support my wife in her professional career. She is finishing her doctorate in school administration. She has been sitting on the sidelines while I have been basking in the limelight.”
Although he conceded that many of his colleagues were saddened by his announcement, he emphasized that now is the time to leave.
“I am young and vibrant. The time to leave is when you are on top. I may end up as a school principal in a ski resort--that is another aspiration.”