Judith Slutzky, who has been principal at the Mount Prospect Elementary School since it opened in 1998-99, on Monday announced she will retire at the end of January.
Schools Superintendent Nick Markarian announced at Monday night's Board of Education meeting that he had received a white envelope from Slutzky just that morning — "which is never a good sign."
Nevertheless, Slutzky, hired by the district in July 1993 to become principal of the Oak Street Elementary School, was presented with flowers on Monday night, and thanked for her hard work on Monday night.
Markarian praised Slutzky's boundless energy and said that even in the past year she had never tired launching new programs and events at the school, such as International Day and the school's harvest of health garden.
Board member Susan McGowan said Slutzky had made a "tremendous contribution" to the school district.
Slutzky's retirement will be effective Jan. 13, 2013. She said that travel will be on her list of things to do, as well as continuing to work in some aspect of education.
Markarian said Slutzky had earned her bachelor's degree in elementary education in 1970. He said she taught in South Brunswick schools from 1971 to 1989. He said she was an assistant principal at three schools in the Flemington-Raritan school district, including at one newly opened school — experience that he said came to be useful when a fourth elementary school was opened to serve thousands of homes in The Hills.
"It's been a pure joy coming to work every day," Slutzky said. "I have the very best job because I am working with children every single day."
She said if she was ever having a bad day she would head into a kindergarten class, where she would be greeted with hugs.