Craig County Superintendent Jeanette Warwick announced her retirement during a school board meeting Tuesday night.
“In the 12 years I have been in Craig County, it has been a joy to sign diplomas and congratulate seniors that were with me when I was principal at the elementary school,” Warwick said. “I can only hope that I have made a small difference.”
She said after 32 years in public education, her retirement is effective Nov. 30, though she is willing to remain longer in an advisory role to help a new superintendent smoothly transition.
“You don’t go into teaching for the money,” Warwick said. “You go into teaching because you have a passion and a love for kids.”
Warwick started her teaching career in Norfolk, but soon moved back to her hometown Roanoke, working for schools in the city and beginning as an administrator in Montgomery County before joining Craig County in 2009.
“Every decision I have made as an administrator… I make the decision as if I were making it for my daughter or my granddaughter,” Warwick said.
Craig County schools are successfully reopened this week, after closing last week due to a staff shortage caused by quarantines among students whose parents work in the school system, officials clarified Tuesday night.
Also Tuesday, school board member Trace Bellassai was nominated as the new chair, after former chairwoman Susan Crenshaw resigned in August, amid disagreement about student mask mandates. Bellassai thanked Warwick for her time.
“It’s much more than a small impact you’ve made on this school system,” Bellassai said. “For sure.”
School board member George Foster said it will be tough to find a replacement.
“We need to keep our faith, and we’ll get through it. It won’t be easy, but I’ll just say that ‘without faith, it is impossible to please God,’ that’s Hebrews 11:6,” Foster said. “So we got to have faith in everything we do. Look to him for guidance, and pray that we’ll make the right decisions as we move forward.”