MONROE — District Administrator Risk Waski, a fixture in Monroe Schools dating back a decade, has decided to leave his post, citing medical reasons.
Waski’s retirement was accepted by the board in a closed-session special meeting, on Monday. His resignation is effective on May 22, said Joe Monroe, director of public services for the district.
Waski has been battling health issues for some time.
“As some of you know, I was diagnosed with late-onset muscular dystrophy in 2018,” Waski said in a letter to parents this week. “I have been able to work through the progressing symptoms over the last few years, however, at the end of November, I went on medical leave as a result of this condition. After a few months of physical therapy and focusing on my health, my family and I have decided that retirement is the best long-term decision for me.
Waski, who assumed the office of district administrator in July, was principal of Monroe High School from 2010 to 2013 before serving as district administrator for the Adams-Friendship school district.
For its part, school district officials lauded the work Waski has done to improve Monroe schools during his tenure.
“The School District of Monroe would like to thank Mr. Waski for his outstanding leadership and dedication to Monroe’s community,” the board said in a statement. “Rick will always be remembered as a leader that worked tirelessly to support the district’s improvement efforts while also developing a vision for the future. “
At the time of his hiring for the top job, Waski lauded the community for its support for education and the 2016 referendum; and pledged for improved communication and cooperation districtwide under his leadership.
“My number one goal is to improve the district’s communication with the community,” said Waski when he returned to the district in 2017. “I know the Monroe community supported our operating referendum last year, but we need to have that level of communication all the time.”
The search for Waski’s replacement will begin shortly, said Monroe, with the board already planning to begin the process, which will likely start by retaining a school superintendent search firm.
“The district staff would like to wish Rick the very best in his retirement, and we look forward to his continued support” within the community, the board’s statement added. “The (search) process will include opportunities for feedback and participation from staff and community members. … More information will be made available in the near future.”
For his part, Waski also had kind words for the district, students and staff.
Said Waski: “Our community’s support for our district has been a consistent inspiration to me and I look forward to continuing to support local education and the community in my retirement.”