Superintendent of schools James Weiss accepted a letter of retirement yesterday from Dan Seklecki, director of student support services for Martha’s Vineyard Public Schools, effective in January.
In a telephone call to inform The Times, Mr. Weiss said it would be very difficult, and perhaps close to impossible, to replace Mr. Seklecki.
“He has been here for 28 years, and is the senior member of our administrative team and the institutional memory of the Island’s public schools,” Mr. Weiss said.
He plans to confer with the All-Island School Committee over the next two weeks to move forward with a search process to fill Mr. Seklecki’s position.
“Special education directors are hard to come by, especially someone to fill the challenging and unique aspects of this position on an island,” Mr. Weiss said.
He and Mr. Seklecki emailed letters Wednesday morning to inform school committee members and the superintendent’s staff. Mr. Weiss said Mr. Seklecki’s plans did not come as a surprise, as the two of them had been talking about the possibility of his retirement for a while.
Mr. Seklecki has been instrumental in shepherding the Island’s schools through the increasingly complex and constantly changing special education mandates from state and Federal government, and in addressing the needs of Martha’s Vineyard students.
As one example, in the 2008-2009 school year, Mr. Seklecki worked with early learning coordinator Ann Palches and autism specialist Hope MacLeod to create and set up the Bridge Program, a collaborative program that would be efficient and cost-effective by serving children with autism spectrum disorders as well as communication and social interaction disorders Island-wide.