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Superintendent Announces Retirement Plan

posted Dec 20, 2017, 1:37 PM by Joe Ferry   [ updated Jan 11, 2018, 7:12 AM ]
Headshot of Dr. Jacqueline Rattigan
Dr. Jacqueline A. Rattigan, Superintendent of the Pennridge School District since 2013, announced today that she intends to retire at the end of the school year.

In an e-mail to District staff, Dr. Rattigan pledged to “continue to devote 100 percent effort to ensure that we continue our positive momentum on all fronts.” She also informed the School Board that she will assist them “in any way possible to ensure a smooth transition of leadership in the District.”

During her years in public education, Dr. Rattigan has worked in only two school districts: Neshaminy and Pennridge. She began her career as a junior high school mathematics teacher and cheerleading coach, worked in a number of administrative positions and eventually became assistant superintendent at Neshaminy before accepting the opportunity to succeed Dr. Robert Kish at Pennridge.

Under Dr. Rattigan’s leadership, the District has seen substantial curriculum improvements, technology upgrades, building and bus security enhancements and ongoing financial stability in the face of challenging economic conditions. The District has received positive national and state rankings for its STEM program, athletics and music education. In 2017, U.S. News and World Report ranked Pennridge High School in the top 10 percent nationally based on standardized test scores, graduation rates and college readiness. Dr. Rattigan credited those successes to “great Board members, staff, students and families working together.”

“It has been an eventful, challenging and rewarding time,” she said. “When I reflect on the ‘highlights,’ it really comes back to the wonderful Pennridge people with whom I have met and worked.”

Dr. Rattigan is particularly proud of the District’s efforts in educating the “whole” child, especially as it relates to social and emotional learning (SEL). The District’s  T.A.K.E.S.  P.R.I.D.E. initiative and efforts K-12, including creating a proprietary K-5 SEL curriculum, are having a demonstrable positive effect on school climate, she said.

“Research shows that these skills are the ones that our young people need to succeed in both school and in life,” she said.  “We are also teaching students that regardless of the career that they choose, the SEL skills such as respect, responsibility and collaboration are just as critical, if not more so, for them to possess as the academic ones.”

Dr. Rattigan called her full-time service in public education in Pennsylvania “an incredible journey,” one that she is “grateful, honored and proud” to have traveled. The years have passed by quickly, she said, “most likely because I was doing work that matched my passion.”  

Whether her future involves working or volunteering, Dr. Rattigan said she has a feeling she will be doing something that helps young people in uncovering their talents and pursuing their passions to live their lives to the fullest.

“For me, I will not really be retiring in June,” she said. “Like the senior Class of 2018, both of us will simply be ‘graduating’ to the next chapter of our lives!”