By Valerie Franchi, Contributing Writer
Region- After just one year, Assabet Valley Regional School District Superintendent Patrick Collins will resign his post effective Aug. 1, amid a $62 million ongoing renovation to Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School (AVRTHS).
In a joint statement released by Collins and Assabet Valley Regional School Committee Chair Lynn Ryan, “both parties acknowledge philosophical differences in the future direction of the school and have decided to part ways.”
Collins had recently been involved in a controversy regarding the possible departure of AVRTHS Principal Mark Hollick.
In June, students stage a walk-out in support of Hollick, who they believed was being pressured by Collins to leave the district. ?Hollick, who has been the school's principal for seven years, recently applied for the principal position at the Quinn Middle School in Hudson. Although he was a finalist, he was not chosen for that position.
Parents and students showed up in force at recent AVRTHS School Committee meetings, to support for Hollick and with some calling for Collins” resignation. ??Collins maintained that Hollick was offered a one-year contract for the new school year in March, but no more details were given. Hollick was the assistant principal from 2003 to 2008 and a physical education teacher and coach from 1996 to 2003.
Collins came to the district in 2007 as the director of business operations and also served as assistant superintendent until he was appointed superintendent in July 2013. Previously he had worked for 11 years for Shrewsbury Public Schools.
“I have enjoyed my service at Assabet and I am ready to move onto a new challenge,” Collins said in the statement. “The district is in a strong financial condition and the renovation project is on schedule and under budget.”
The renovations began in April 2013 and are expected to be completed in May 2015.
“Mr. Collins has served the district well over the past seven years and is credited with many significant contributions to the school district,” Ryan said in the statement.
Collins noted that he is most proud of bringing the new U.S. Marine Corps JROTC program to the district in the coming fall.
“We'se received over $200,000 in uniforms and equipment, hired the instructor, and over 60 students are enrolled,” he said.
Collins also created the Learn & Serve Program where students and staff participate in multi-day community service projects in Worcester and rural Maine over school breaks.
With Collins” departure, the School Committee plans to appoint an interim superintendent to oversee the district while it conducts a search for a permanent replacement.