Superintendent Gifford to retire next year

Oct 17, 2022

The search is on for a new superintendent of Dartmouth’s public schools.

After eight years on the job, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bonny Gifford announced during Monday night’s School Committee meeting that she will be retiring from the position in March 2023. 

“It’s just time,” she said, fighting back tears. “I tossed and turned over [this].”

According to the outgoing superintendent, she plans to “redirect energies” and spend more time with family.

“It seems like yesterday I began my teaching career in Westport and, just like that, 32 years have flown by,” she wrote to the School Committee. “I can only hope that my work has had a positive impact on the many students I have had the privilege of teaching and the numerous colleagues who have provided support, camaraderie, and friendship along the way.”

Gifford began her education career in 1990 as a teacher in Westport, eventually becoming the superintendent in Falmouth before moving to Dartmouth in 2015. She said leading the district has been  “an honor and pleasure.”

During Gifford’s eight year tenure as superintendent, she has ushered in technology-infused classroom programs, overseen renovations to Memorial Stadium, navigated schools through the Covid-19 pandemic, and put Dartmouth High among the top high schools in the nation.

Committee members thanked Gifford for her years of service, and for giving plenty of notice.

“It’s been an honor and a privilege,” School Committee Chair John Nunes said.

He added that her letter has even made him reflect on the passage of time.

“Thirty-two years, that’s my committee time,” he said. 

“Maybe it’s your turn,” Gifford responded with a laugh.

An interim superintendent will be named at a later date if necessary, Nunes said. A search committee will also look to have a permanent replacement in by July 1.