Delaware Area Career Center Superintendent Mary Beth Freeman announced her intention to retire last week during the DACC’s regular board meeting.
The DACC Board of Education approved her retirement, effective May 31, 2021, at the Sept. 22 meeting.
Freeman has been with the DACC since 2008, and she said her time with the district has been a “privilege.”
“Since joining DACC in 2008, I have had the privilege of working with our board of education and our staff on significant growth in our district,” Freeman said. “We began by creating a strategic plan that has guided our decisions and led us to new programs, innovative delivery options, increased enrollment, construction of one DACC facility which supports technology and innovative delivery, and on-site mental health support for students. We have successfully reached our goals, and in early 2020, community members participated in a strategic planning process to create a new vision, mission, and core beliefs, which will continue to guide the district.”
Freeman said she’s proud of the district’s growth and development, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. She added it’s the right time for someone else to lead the DACC.
“I am proud of how far our district has come, and I am grateful to our board of education and each of our staff members for the roles they have played in getting us here,” Freeman said. “COVID has caused us to think even more creatively about how we deliver education and utilize technology. Combining the many changes already facing education with the impact of the pandemic, the future of education will take a new course, therefore, it is the right time to transition to a new leader.”
Once her retirement is official in May 2021, Freeman plans to focus on things she had to put on the backburner during her career.
“I am looking forward to having free time to revisit activities that I have put on hold over the years and to make plans to travel,” Freeman said. “Leveraging what I have learned over my 36 years in education, I am excited to look at how I can give back to our community and contribute to a purpose that is meaningful and will have an impact on others.”
Freeman added she will miss the people and camaraderie at the DACC.
“Over the years, I have gotten to know each of our staff members, and I will miss interacting with them,” she said. “I will also miss advocating for students in career and technical education at a state and national level in an official capacity. It has been an absolute pleasure of mine to work with our state and federal leaders to keep career tech at the forefront.”
Freeman said the successes of the DACC can’t be attributed solely to her, and she thanked the board and staff for their work during her time.
“The success of the Delaware Area Career Center has truly been an effort of many,” Freeman said. “I would like to thank the DACC Board of Education for supporting and encouraging our staff to explore new and innovative approaches to education. I want to thank our staff for their dedication to our students and for being leaders in educational delivery. I would like to thank our community for supporting us at the polls, for hiring our students, and sitting on our advisory boards. Without them, we would not be where we are today.”
Freeman said she’s excited to see what the future has in store for the DACC.
“We have come a long way as a district, and there are still many opportunities for growth for a new leader to advance the district,” Freeman said. “There is an old proverb that says, ‘To go fast, go alone. To go far, go together.’ I am honored to have served as the Delaware Area Career Center superintendent, and I look forward to watching the advancements that will be made over the next decade.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.