The Barrington School Committee said goodbye to one of its longest serving employees on Tuesday evening, June 19.
Sandra Whitaker, secretary to the superintendent, is retiring at the end of June after 32 years with the public schools. The Tuesday night meeting was her final session.
“It’s been an honor and a privilege to work here all these years,” said Whitaker, who has been compiling the minutes of the twice monthly School Committee meetings using shorthand learned at the former Katherine Gibbs School in Providence.
“I believe I’m the only person who knows shorthand here,” said Whitaker, who then transcribes her notes on a computer.
Whitaker was greeted at her seat with a plant. School Committee Chairman Patrick Guida also presented her with a gift and asked for a hug. He got one.
The gift was “a beautiful glass paperweight, very unique,” said Whitaker. “It’s etched with the word ‘merci’ – thank you in French.”
Whitaker started at the former Maple Avenue school offices inputting data in a new computer system. She has been the secretary to three superintendents, including Ralph Malafronte and McIntyre, over about 12 years.
“I’ve always been in central administration,” she said.
Whitaker is a Barrington High School graduate. Her son, Mark, teaches music in the elementary schools.
Whitaker’s final day is June 29, the same day McIntyre retires as superintendent. She will take with her an always smiling face and a warm personality.