Niagara Catholic Director of Education John Crocco has had many first days of school.
His first day of kindergarten.
His first day of high school.
His first day of university.
His first day as an elementary teacher in New Liskeard in 1983, and his first day as a classroom teacher at Saint Paul Catholic High School in Niagara Falls in 1986.
His first day as Program Chair, Vice-Principal, Principal, Superintendent, and his first day as Director of Education.
And this year’s first day of school; his last with Niagara Catholic.
Director Crocco informed the Board early this calendar year, as he had with the previous Board, that his plan has always been a commitment to seeing Vision 2020, and the accomplishments achieved as a system in realizing this vision, to its completion, and then to retire on August 31, 2020.
“It has always been my plan to see Vision 2020 through to its completion, before beginning the next opportunity on my life journey in September 2020,” Crocco said in his letter to staff. “I have always known that this would be the right time to move forward, as we move into a new decade and a new strategic plan to serve students, staff and the board through the 2020s.
“The start of this new school year traditionally has focused, as it should, on students and staff, and I wanted this year to be no different. My informing staff in advance provides the Board the time required to begin the search process for the next Director of Education, and for a transition period to ensure that Niagara Catholic’s mission, vision and values continue to provide the direction for our system. I am deeply grateful for the unconditional support of my family throughout my career. I am profoundly proud of the genuine collaboration, visionary thinking, risk-taking, support and commitment of the Boards of Trustees, staff, student leaders, bishops, religious, parents and community members. Together, we have created an innovative Catholic learning environment designed for all students to succeed, recognized locally, provincially, nationally and internationally as a leading educational community.
“My passion, excitement and dedication to the vocation of Catholic education shines even brighter today than it did when I began teaching in 1983. While education has evolved throughout my career, the core belief found in our call to be the hands and feet of Jesus remains at the foundation of Catholic education.
“The secondary students in the Class of 2020 were in Grade 1 when I began as Director of Education of Niagara Catholic in 2008. This year, I will proudly graduate from my role as Director of Education alongside these students and, like them, will look forward to the next chapter in my life and the adventures and opportunities it brings.”
Chair of the Board, Frank Fera, who has known Crocco for most of his career, commended him for his years of service.
“As our Director of Education, John has undeniably given generously of his time to promote and enhance the educational well-being of Niagara Catholic,” said Fera. “His endless energy, coupled with his enthusiasm to foster and support the social, academic and religious success of our students, speaks well of his commitment to Catholic Education. One of his top priorities has been to work closely with our Bishop to ensure that gospel values were embedded and maintained throughout our Catholic school system. On behalf of the Board, It is my privilege to wish John a retirement filled with peace, joy and good health for many years.”
Crocco’s advanced notice of his retirement provides the Board with the required time to select the next Director of Education, and for a suitable time of transition.
(Source: Niagara Catholic news release)