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School chief informs board he's retiring
News Staff Reporter
Grand Island School Superintendent Thomas M. Ramming is retiring at the end of June, after more than three years on the job.

Ramming said that the career plan he put together in his 30s projected that he would retire from school administration sometime between 55 and 57. He turned 55 in August.

What he knows is that he and his wife, Kate, an elementary teacher in Royalton Hartland who is also retiring at the end of the school year, are planning to remain in Western New York. What's uncertain is exactly how he will spend his time.

"This is the first time I've changed jobs and haven't had other things lined up," he said.

He has been teaching one course a semester at the University at Buffalo for more than a decade, paving the path to what Ramming hopes will be a post-retirement career teaching at the college level. He is also planning to do consulting work in human resources and labor relations.

The Grand Island School Board on Monday learned of Ramming's decision to retire. The board will start laying plans for finding his replacement at a work session on Feb. 13.

President Michael P. Dallessandro said the board has been pleased with the strides Ramming has made toward improving student performance.

Ramming said the biggest disappointment of his tenure in Grand Island was the community's defeat of the budget last year - and the best experience was winning voter approval for a budget a few weeks later.

He said he has succeeded in bringing financial stability to the district, which has begun putting together a three- to five-year financial plan and has started developing reserves. The latest teachers contract, approved earlier this month, will save the district money by moving all the teachers to a single health care provider and requiring employee contributions, he noted.

This year, Ramming will earn $155,535 as superintendent. He had two years left on his contract.

Before coming to Grand Island, he worked for six years as assistant superintendent for human resources in the Williamsville School District. He held comparable positions in the West Seneca School District and Orleans Niagara BOCES.

He began his career in 1974 as a high school social studies teacher in Royalton Hartland.