Friday will mark the last day on the job for and according to several members of the public, he will be "sorely missed."
In January, the Rocky Hill Board of Education appointed Winzler the interim superintendent. Winzler retired in 2009 from Bolton where he was the superintendent of schools. Since retirement, he has been an interim superintendent in Berlin, Granby and Watertown.
In late April, Dr. Mark F. Zito was as the new superintendent for Rocky Hill Public Schools. Since April 2009, Zito has served as the superintendent for the East Hartford Public Schools. His first day working for Rocky Hill is July 1.
On Thursday night, the Rocky Hill Board of Education honored Winzler for his service during its meeting. Vice Chairman Rene (Skip) Rivard read the inscription of a plaque that was given to Winzler. The plaque thanked him for always communicating with the public during his tenure.
Let Patch save you time. Get great local stories like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone every day with our free newsletter. Simple, fast sign-up here.
"The man, the myth, the legend, the voice thank you for everything," Rivard read. Winzler's office sent out weekly emails and phone messages to parents and residents on the issues affecting Rocky Hill schools.
Board Chairwoman Raffaella Coler said during Winzler's tenure, the board was provided with "great leadership" and she has personally gained a "friend in the process."
"Mark said at the beginning... that when he left Rocky Hill he just wanted to make sure it didn't seem like we had an interim," she said. "I don't think anyone would say we had an interim."
Coler joked Winzler "hit the ground running," but after his tenure in Rocky Hill, "he could barely walk."
"You have given up yourself truly to the community and we are appreciative," she said. "And we could not have asked for a better relationship with an interim superintendent."
Board member Brian Dillon said Winzler came to the schools "at the right time" and added that a lot of children in town will benefit from his "hard work," referring to the .
"I remember you telling us that you are just here to hold both ends and get us from one side to another in the transition," he said. "And you certainty did more than that."
Rivard said that Winzler was not only a friend to the board, but the town as well.
"Your friendship and your dedication to our town will live on for decades," he said.
Members of the town council including Mayor Anthony LaRosa and Councilors Larry deBear and Phil Sylvestro have previously thanked Winzler for his commitment to the town and said they wish he could have stayed on as the permanent superintendent.
Board member Maria Mennella thanked Winzler on behalf of the parents and said that they appreciated all the communications that his office sent out.
After the meeting, Winzler told Patch that he "thoroughly enjoyed himself" during his time in Rocky Hill.
"It's been a lot of work, but I am glad to be able to bring my experience with referendums and building projects to help out," he said. "You have a great school system and staff. And if I hadn't been retired, this is a place I would have wanted to come."
Before Winzler leaves this week, he said he plans to have all the paperwork filed with the state for the . At its meeting on Thursday, the board of education officially approved the .
"I will leave him (Zito) with a clean slate," he told the board during the meeting.
On June 18, the town council approved the following motions regarding the high school renovation project:
- Authorizing the Board of Education to Apply for a School Construction Grant for the Modernization and Expansion of Rocky Hill High School
- Resolution Charging the Government Operations Subcommittee of the Town Council and the Public Buildings Commission with the Oversight of the Modernization and Expansion of Rocky Hill High School (Appointment of School Building Committee)
- Resolution Authorizing the Preparation of Schematic Drawings and Outline Specifications for the Modernization and Expansion of Rocky Hill High School
The Board of Education is planning to hold a "welcome reception" ceremony for the community to meet Zito. A date has not been set at this time.