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Charlotte school superintendent announces retirement

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Posted at 10:27 AM, Nov 22, 2022

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Steve Dionisio well step down as leader of the Charlotte County school system at the end of the 2022-2023 school year.

He made the announcement Tuesday morning, in a statement praising his coworkers and family for their support during his service.

"I will stay on as long as they need me in order to find my replacement," Dionisio said.

The 55-year-old educator will end his leadership after eight years at the helm. Before being elevated to superintendent, Dionisio spent 16 years as a "school-based leader" and nine years as a teacher. He also spent seven years as a student within the very district he would eventually help run.

"We have battled budget crises, referendums, standards changing, pandemics, and hurricanes together," Dionisio said in his statement. "There is no community I would choose to go through difficult times with other than Charlotte County.

His complete statement as released publicly, reads as follows:

I never thought when I arrived in Charlotte County in 1979 as a 6th grader at Neil Armstrong Elementary School that I would spend the majority of my life connected to Charlotte County Public Schools. Seven years as a student. Nine years as a teacher. 16 years as a school-based leader. And now, eight years as the Superintendent. 40 of my 55 years alive have been connected to Charlotte County Schools. It is all I know, and I am so grateful to this community for entrusting me with your children.

Nevertheless, all things come to an end. I am officially announcing I will be retiring this school year from Charlotte County Schools. I have informed the School Board I will stay on as long as they need me to in order to find my replacement.

We have accomplished so many things in Charlotte County Schools, none of which would have been possible without an incredible team I have been fortunate enough to work with. We have battled budget crises, referendums, standards changing, pandemics and hurricanes together. I have said many times, there is no community I would choose to go through difficult times with other than Charlotte County.

There are so many things I will miss from my time at CCPS but I will list a few. The moment I knew as a teacher that the student understood, standing on the sideline of a Friday night football game, holiday band concerts, going into every teacher’s classroom in the district and most importantly, graduations. The memories created during those moments will be with me for the rest of my life, thank you.

There are so many people to thank for any success I have had during my time in Charlotte County. First, and most importantly, my wife Tina who has had to endure all of the early mornings and the late-night, weekend and vacation time calls as well as being my rock through many stressful times. Also, my children, Nick and Haley who had to share me with many other kids during my time at Port Charlotte High as well as my time as Superintendent. In addition, my extended family who have always been supportive. I could not have done this for so many years without my entire family, thank you.

To the two teachers that inspired me to become a teacher, Debbie Morrow and Mary Jo Holleran, thank you, I will be forever grateful to you both.

To the mentors that believed in me enough to give me my first chance, Lou Long Sr., Rene Desjardins, Dave Gayler and Doug Whittaker, thank you.

To the all of the assistants that have kept me out of trouble and focused through my time as a leader, Marcia Doeble, Lori Revelas, Rosanne Davis, Debbie Capo, Cindy Weant, Ellie Serra, Laura McCarthy, and Theresa Dow, thank you.

To all of the coworkers I have been fortunate enough to work with including but not limited to leaders like Gary Bernardo, Lou Long, Dan Jeffers and Barney Duffy; teachers like Jose Lopez, Lisa Branno, and Barb Vida; and support staff members like Dennis Neff, Cheryl Slattery, and Pete Tuttle, thank you.

To all of the current and past principals, assistant principals and district leadership team members I was fortunate enough to work with, thank you.

To all of the members of my Superintendent Staff including April Prestipino, Chris Bress, Jerry Olivo, Chuck Breiner, Patrick Keegan, Cheryl Edwards, Mike Desjardins, Greg Griner, Carl Hendrick, Jeff Harvey, and Mike Riley, thank you for everything you did to help make us great.

To the school board that hired me, Alleen Miller, Barbara Rendell, Bob Segur, Lee Swift and Ian Vincent and the school board that currently serves, Wendy Atkinson, Kim Amontree, John Leclair, Cara Reynolds, and Bob Segur, thank you for your support.

To all of the students, including the 10,740 hands of graduates I had the privilege of shaking at graduations either as the principal of Port Charlotte High or as Superintendent, and to all of the current students enrolled in our schools, thank you, you are the reason I come back every day.

And finally, to the entire Charlotte County community for always having faith in me to take care of your children, thank you.

Please know it has been an incredible honor to serve as a Teacher, Dean of Students, Assistant Principal, Principal, Assistant Superintendent, and finally your Superintendent in Charlotte County.

Charlotte County will always be in my heart and will always be my home. I will miss you all.

Sincerely,

Steve Dionisio