In what must have come as a surprise to many in the community, Miller-Driscoll Principal Cheryl Jensen-Gerner announced her retirement Friday, in a letter to the school’s families. She said she plans to step down effective Thursday, Dec. 31.
“After nearly forty-two years as an educator it is time to embark on the next phase of my life. It is bittersweet in many ways but I look forward to more time with family and friends and opportunities to engage in leisure activities,” she said.
Jensen-Gerner became principal of the Tilford W. Miller School in December 1999. After it was merged with the Ina E. Driscoll School in 2010, she became principal of the new, united Miller-Driscoll School.
“This past year I had a few health scares that have turned out OK, but I came to the realization that although I love the work I’ve done as an educator for the past 42 years, it was a wake-up call that it is time to step aside for others to carry on the leadership of Miller-Driscoll,” Jensen-Gerner told The Bulletin.
“This is a very time-consuming job and I’ve put some things on hold to give it the attention that it needs.”
Jensen-Gerner said it will be “hard to leave as the principal of Miller-Driscoll School,” as it has been her “second home and my second family” for 16 years.
“I will miss the interactions, intellectual stimulation, challenges, and most of all, the people,” said Jensen-Gerner.
“The children of Wilton are marvelous and I will miss seeing them every day.”
Jensen-Gerner said since she came to Wilton in December 1999, “it seemed to be a good idea to leave in December as well.”
“I don’t like long good-byes and this is just long enough to do the necessary transitions,” she said.
Board of Education Chair Bruce Likly told The Bulletin that Jensen-Gerner has been a “dedicated contributor to the Wilton Public Schools for many years,” and the school district will “miss her smiling face and devotion to our youngest learners.
“We are appreciative that she’s announced her retirement at a time of year that will enable us to conduct a comprehensive search for her replacement,” said Likly.
“While I am sure she’s looking forward to her next chapter in life, we’re appreciative that she’ll be working on a consulting basis from our central offices over the remainder of the school year to help with the progression of the Miller-Driscoll building project.”