Dr. Cron To Be New Superintendent of Schools
Veritas Senior Managing Editor
Current Rockland High School principal, Alan Cron will be the next superintendent of Rockland Public Schools. The Rockland School Committee announced their selection of Dr. Cron on Oct. 13.
After only four years at RHS, Dr. Cron is ready to take the next step in his career. On July 1, he will officially assume his new position. Until then, he will be working closely with current superintendent John Retchless, whom Dr. Cron says he has and will learn a great deal from.
Dr. Cron began his journey as a Rockland High School Bulldog the same time the Class of 2016 began theirs: in 2012. He will be finishing up his time as principal around the same time this year’s seniors will be graduating and beginning their own next chapters. Dr. Cron says he remembers the Class of 2016, the only graduating class to have him all four years of high school, as freshmen “vividly.”
“I don’t want to close a chapter. I’m trying not to look at it like that,” says Dr. Cron. “Four years is just not enough.” This is a statement that resonates with many seniors as their time as RHS begins to come to a close.
Even though July 1 is months away, Dr. Cron already has some ideas and plans for the district.
“I think we need to address our needs as far as elementary facilities,” says Dr. Cron, “especially now with the new high school open and middle school we see the benefits of facilities, having nice modern facilities, and I think the elementary schools need that same opportunity. Esten is a little newer than the other two but Jefferson and Memorial Park are really struggling.”
Dr. Cron hopes that this project will take place within five to six years once he begins his new job. Besides some renovations to schools Dr. Cron is “interested in developing gifted and talented programs” as well as “supporting the needs of students who struggle.”
“I’m very interested in early identification of gifted and talented students so we’re making sure we’re serving their needs too,” he says.
Dr. Cron says he is also a proponent of continuing and spreading school spirit and pride within all of Rockland’s public schools and all grades.
Although he is looking forward to July and his new position Dr. Cron also remembers some of his proudest moments from the past few years at Rockland High School. “I’m extremely proud of the department heads. They have done an outstanding job over the past three years with their leadership within their departments.”
One of his favorite accomplishments has been the establishment of the new common planning time. “We managed to give the faculty time to meet on a regular basis. I didn’t give them any directives on how to use it. I said take some time, talk amongst yourselves, it’s like 30-40 hours,” says Dr. Cron, “I just kind of left it wide open and each department is doing something different but outstanding. They’re writing their tests and quizzes together, they’re looking at student work, the English department is having incredible conversations about teaching and learning. I’m really proud of the department heads and this faculty. I just think they are outstanding.”
As far as favorite memories involving students, Dr. Cron cited Mr. Rockland and student government as some of his favorite things.
“[Devin Nunn’s (Class of 2013) Mr. Rockland performance] my first year here was pretty amazing,” says Dr. Cron, “[Student government] is something we want to make sure to keep front and center in the building. It plays such a big part in the culture.”
Although Dr. Cron is looking forward to his new position he finds the transition to be “bittersweet.”
“I never planned to be a principal for just four years. I thought I would do it for a long, long time so it’s bittersweet, but I’m glad that I’m staying here,” he says. “I’m passionate about education, love the town of Rockland, and I think my particular skills will fit well with what we need to do in the district.”
Current superintendent, John Retchless agrees, “I think we’re on the same page as far as where Rockland schools are going, but he’ll bring his take on it. It will be his vision going forward. I believe he’s a person who sees the big picture and I think that’s a key thing for a superintendent to not get lost in the details, to be able to have a vision for the entire district, and I believe he can do that,” said Mr. Retchless.
“I think that the staff of the district have to feel that the superintendent is a good person to work for and cares about their daily lives in the district and I think Dr. Cron is like that.”
Even though he is looking forward to his retirement, Mr. Retchless will most definitely miss parts of his job as superintendent.
“Even though I’m leaving I’m still tremendously attached to Rockland and Rockland Public Schools,” he says.“I’m not going to disappear.”
Although Dr. Cron will be assuming his new position on July 1, Mr. Retchless will not be “leaving” until Oct. 4. Until then, he will continue to serve as a senior advisor and mentor to Dr. Cron, preparing him for his new role within the district.
The new Rockland High School principal will be chosen by a committee of students, parents, teachers, and administrators. More formal announcements about the committee are to come. The plan is to begin this process following holiday break.
In our April edition, the Veritas will publish a complete profile of Mr. Retchess’ career, his accomplishments in Rockland and his future plans.