Monday, December 17, 2001

School leader says goodbye

Superintendent university-bound

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        MIDDLETOWN — Wayne Driscoll started his last day the same way he's started every weekday since being named Middletown Schools' superintendent more than three years ago.

        He stopped at a gas station to buy coffee, and arrived at the school dock shortly after 6:30 a.m. to hang out with maintenance workers, custodians and bus drivers. If not for family responsibilities that are prompting a move to Florida, he said, he'd be continuing the same ritual for another 10 years.

        But Friday was Mr. Driscoll's last day in this urban district of 7,800 pupils.

        He begins work Tuesday as dean of the division of teaching and learning in the graduate school of education at Nova Southeastern University's North Miami Beach branch.

        During Mr. Driscoll's tenure, he developed a reputation for having a natural ability to converse easily with all people, to bring diverse groups together to make things better for kids. It comes, he says, from his love for people, street smarts from growing up in New York City and from being around kids.“I'm passionate about kids. I've never really grown up,” he said. Mr. Driscoll said he would miss the kids and the community. He has developed a special relationship with many athletes and with this year's seniors, who were freshmen when he arrived.

        And school board members say they have appreciated his visibility in the community. Each Sunday, he attends services at, or stops by, two different churches.

        Board President Mark Frazer said Mr. Driscoll he has brought “Middie Pride” back to Middletown.

        Board member John Venturella points to the rapport between the schools, city and business community. Even signs at Middletown's entrances are Middie purple.


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