FARMINGTON – Mt. Blue Middle School Principal Gary Oswald will retire when his contract expires at the end of the 2015-16 school year, Regional School Unit 9 Superintendent Tom Ward said Tuesday.

He read Oswald’s letter on his intent to retire at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

“It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter of my intent to retire at the conclusion of my 2015-16 school year contract,” Oswald wrote. “This early notice will give you the opportunity to find a true middle school replacement, one that lives the middle school philosophy of students first. I have enjoyed working under your supervision and will miss many aspects of my position at Mt. Blue Middle School. The staff that I have worked with over my 17 years as principal has been the most student focused and dedicated people I have ever met,” he wrote.

“With all the changes, reforms and initiatives over my past 30 years in education, I hope all will stay focused and grounded with students first in mind,” Oswald wrote. “Please keep in mind the teachers who are the experts in education and listen to them. Good luck in your future, both professionally and personally.”

Ward accepted Oswald’s intent to retire on Nov. 5.

“We hope you enjoy your adventures in retirement. We thank you for all of your years of service,” Ward said.

It was followed by applause from those in attendance.

Oswald is in his 18th year in the position and in his 30th year at the school.

Oswald’s wife, Maureen, who taught at the middle school for 30 years, retired at the end of the 2014-15 school year.

Prior to Gary Oswald becoming principal, he taught physical education at the school, was interim assistant principal and assistant principal, his wife said when reached on Facebook.

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