After two years on the job, Fitzgerald Elementary School Principal Robert LaRoche has announced his resignation.
The departure marks the fourth principal to leave the district since 2012.
LaRoche, in an email to Waltham Patch elaborated on his reasons saying he is leaving for a similar position at the Hosmer Elementary School in his hometown of Watertown.
“I had every intention of staying in Waltham for many years and this decision was not an easy one to make. An opportunity opened up in Watertown and some friends encouraged me to apply for the position. It is ultimately a situation that would allow me to finish my career in education where it began in Watertown, which is where I was raised,” he said.
LaRoche, who took over for an interim principal in 2011, replaced former principal Alice Shull. Shull retired.
LaRoche’s departure is the fourth of a principal in two years. Henry Whittemore Elementary School Principal Deborah Butts resigned in 2012 saying the school needed a change in leadership. Sara Lane was hired to replace her, but she left in April without any explanation. Also, former Douglas MacArthur Elementary School principal Anthony Colannino left for a principal job in Wellesley in 2012.
LaRoche, in his email, said he confident the school is in “good hands.”
“The teachers and staff at the Fitzgerald are some of the best I've ever worked with and the parents are committed to their children 100 percent. They have an excellent Assistant Principal in Jenn Santillo and I know they are on the path to greatness. I will follow the progress of the school from a short distance away confident that they are in good hands,” he said.
The process to replace LaRoche has already started. Waltham Public Schools Superintendent Susan Nicholson has scheduled a July 22 meeting with Fitzgerald parents to discuss finding a new principal, according to Fitzgerald PTO president. The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. at Waltham High School.
Nicholson could not immediately be reached for comment.