Cindy Amoroso retirement

The Burnsville-Eagan-Savage District Board of Education thanked Superintendent Cindy Amoroso on June 20 for her service to the district during Amoroso’s last board meeting before her retirement.

The Burnsville-Eagan-Savage Board of Education bade farewell to Superintendent Cindy Amoroso last week.

Amoroso will step out of the role and be replaced by Theresa Battle, assistant superintendent with St. Paul Public Schools, on July 1.

“I’m very, very proud of what we’ve accomplished in the six years I’ve been here,” Amoroso said in a prepared statement at the June 20 meeting.

Amoroso highlighted the district’s Vision One91 redesign project, which included changes to instructional technology, grade reconfiguration, updated facilities and the pathways curriculum model. She commended the district’s work around developing cultural proficiency and hiring school counselors, social workers, psychologists and cultural liaisons to create a network of student support services.

Amoroso began leading the district after former Superintendent Joe Gothard left in June 2017. The school board promoted Amoroso from assistant superintendent to interim superintendent, where she would serve the remaining two years of Gothard’s contract.

District officials have often credited Amoroso for bringing Vision One91 across the finish line.

In her retirement letter to the board last fall, Amoroso said the timing of the decision has been in her family’s plans for several years and that the two-year interim contract felt perfect in light of the accomplishments of Vision One91.

During her remarks, Amoroso also acknowledged challenges faced during her tenure.

Prolonged contract negotiations with the district’s teacher’s union in 2018 brought Amoroso and other officials under criticism, for example, though Amoroso did not refer specifically to the issue.

“I would like to thank Cindy for her years of service,” Wendy Drugge Wuensch, union president, wrote in an email after the meeting. “I also would like to wish her well in her retirement.”

The district’s budget also presented challenges in recent years, and officials have trimmed several million dollars in spending on teachers and academic and athletic programming due to government aid shortfalls and student enrollment that’s been falling for years.

The board is mulling over a possible levy election for district voters to help address the issue.

“When there are conflicts and challenges, it can be difficult for me as a superintendent to not take those things personally — that’s who I am,” she said. “I’m proud enough about our district and I care enough to be hurt when someone says something false or damaging about our schools. I’m proud that when we get bad news, it keeps me up at night because it means the passion is there.”

She said the hardships have been worth it.

“First and most importantly, we are making a difference for our students,” she said, continuing on to thank district staff, parents, community members and organizations who’ve shared in her work.

Board member Lesley Chester thanked Amoroso for her involvement in making improvements to special education, and others shared comments about her work ethic, knowledge and commitment to students.

Longtime board member DeeDee Currier thanked Amoroso for her tireless work and candid conversations, and added she has always been impressed with Amoroso’s vocabulary and memory.

“Your work in this district set a new standard,” she said.

Christine Schuster is a reporter for the Savage Pacer.

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