By NANETTE LoBIONDO GALLOWAY
MARGATE – The Board of Education Wednesday Nov. 15 accepted the retirement of Superintendent Audrey Becker, effective July 1, 2024.
“I’ll be 55 this year and I’m in a place now where I want to focus on my family and other things,” Becker said. “I feel I’ve given a lot to the job over the years and this is a good time for me to retire.”
Becker said the response to her announcement that she would leave the district after 32 years has been “heartwarming.”
“Everyone has been so kind and said nice things as the word has spread. The staff members say they are happy for me but also that they will miss having me around,” she said.
Becker worked for one year at Freehold Regional High School as a mathematics teacher before coming to Margate in 1992. Once in the district, she taught math, English, basic skills and library science before becoming curriculum coordinator, a position she held for 10 years. As an administrator, she was principal of both the Eugene A. Tighe Middle School and the William H. Ross Elementary School before being appointed superintendent.
“The more experience I got, it allowed me to help the district in new ways,” Becker said. “I’m kind of obsessive at times and education has always dominated my life”
Becker said the board would advertise her position internally like it did when she was hired as superintendent. Tighe School Principal Ryan Gaskill has an educational leadership certificate and Ross Principal Bonnie Marino is close to obtaining her certificate, Becker said.
“We’ve had good luck keeping promotions in-house. It’s good to have someone who knows the staff, parents, students, curriculum and school climate, so it most likely will be someone who is already in the house,” she said. “Hiring from within will make it easier for them to get in touch with me if needed.”
But before she leaves, she would like to set the district on good footing for her successor.
“This year, the district is undergoing monitoring for NJQSAC (Quality Single Accountability Continuum). The last time we were required to do QSAC was in 2011,” she said.
Because it is a high performing district, Margate was exempt from performing the self-evaluation assessment twice before the COVID-19 pandemic, during which all districts were given a pass.
“There’s a few things that have been revealed that have to be completed, and I want to make sure we get through that before I leave,” she said.
Becker said she has no concrete plans after retirement, only that she wants to spend more time with her adult children, ages 25 and 29, and her parents, who live in Egg Harbor Township.
“I’m their only child who lives close by so I want to be able to offer them support when they need it,” she said.
Her husband has an accounting firm in Northfield where her 25-year-old son works, “so I might be useful there,” she said.
Becker said she knows it’s time to retire because she is seeing more and more children of the students she taught years ago coming through the district’s schools.
“I’m excited because I’ve come full-circle, so it’s time.”
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