Schools Supt. Ralph Iassogna was so emotional Tuesday he could not read his retirement letter to the shocked audience and school board.
Board of Education Chairman Steve Wright read it instead.
"[As of June 30], I will have completed 46 years in education, the past 39 of which have been in Trumbull. In that time, I have served in many capacities, including principal of both Tashua and Center Schools, assistant superintendent and for the past 14 years as superintendent.
"I have been most fortunate to serve and lead a school system of such quality. The Trumbull Public Schools always will be special to me and I leave with many fond memories," Iassogna wrote.
Iassogna thanked everyone whe worked with for helping the district earn numerous honors, high test scores and helping establish numerous new educational programs, including all-day kindergarten, an early childhood education center, the Agriscience program and a K-12 autistic program.
"These accomplishments are indicative of the Trumbull Public Schools culture that is based on collaboration, mutual respect and support. I am humbled to be the recipient of this advocacy," Iassogna wrote.
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He also thanked past and current colleagues, including the school board, past chairman Ted Lovely and the late Arthur Kaiser.
"Please know that I stand ready to assist you in any way, both during and after the selection process for my replacement. I leave in June as a very proud, fortunate and appreciative superintendent of schools," Iassogna concluded.
After praising him, the school board granted Iassogna a raise of about 5 percent, or about $10,000 a year, retroactive to July 1, 2012. In the past, Iassogna donated one raise to a scholarship and turned down others.
To find his replacement, the school board will hold an executive session to determine how to begin the search process.
Also, Wright noted, Iassogna will receive a state pension partly based on his three highest-earning years, but will not receive any town benefits or a retirement package after he leaves. Iassogna earned about $200,000 a year.
Iassogna, 66, came to Trumbull in 1974 as an assistant principal. He has been married for almost 45 years and has three sons and seven grandchildren, spread out in Trumbull and Stratford and Atlanta, Ga.
He said he did not have any plans yet on how he would spend retirement but colleagues said he should improve his golf game.