OSWEGO, NY – After more than 20 years on the job, William Foley will step down next month from his position as clerk for the Oswego City School District.
Foley, who also acts as the district’s public information officer, said he applied for the position because the ad said they were looking for someone to help promote the school district – something the OHS grad felt he could do well.
The school board unanimously approved his retirement at Tuesday night’s meeting.
At the end of August, he will be unemployed for the first time since he was a teen-ager, he said.
“I was an annual appointment, served at the pleasure of the board, when they hired me as a district clerk. They wanted a PR person at the same time. But they didn’t want to commit to a long-term deal. For 20 years I’ve been an annual appointment, which I consider a success story,” Foley said.
“I recall back in the late 1980s, early 1990s, Dave Christopher, our transportation supervisor, was the board clerk,” board member Sam Tripp pointed out. “He didn’t do all that other stuff.”
He added the board has to look at just what it wants from the position prior to hiring Foley’s successor.
“I want to thank Mr. Foley for his years of service to the Oswego City School District. Since I’ve become an officer, he’s been very helpful to our executive board for the past eight or 12 years. Whenever we had any district fundraisers, Bill would show up with a camera and get us in the media,” CSEA president Jim Jackson said during the public session. “I just want to thank him for that. On top of all that, it doesn’t matter who you call in this district, what office you call, he’ll answer the phone and take a message.”
Superintendent Ben Halsey also praised Foley for assisting him get accustomed to the district.
“I haven’t known him long, but I’ve certainly enjoyed working with him. He’s been an incredible resource for me,” he said. “I wish (him) and his wife well.”
Foley has six grandchildren; three of them don’t live in the area.
“I’d like to see them a little more. I’d like to see my daughter, who lives in New Jersey, some more. My wife and I would love to do some traveling – not a lot but some,” he said. “I just think it’s time. I wasn’t sure; I thought about it back in May and at that point I was ready to retire, but I wasn’t really ready to retire.”
He talked to a few people and decided he wasn’t retiring for the right reason.
“I didn’t feel good about it then. And now, I can honestly say I am ready. I am really looking forward to it. I’d like to move on and do something else,” he added. “There are things I’ve wanted to do that I haven’t done. So I just think it’s time.”
The past 20 years have been an experience that I could not have had anywhere else. I’ve experienced a ride that even the best amusement park in the world could not have provided. Every year was a roller-coaster ride with excitement and thrills. However, now it is time to let someone else on the ride, he wrote in his retirement letter.
He said he will miss the people he has worked with and come in contact with during his tenure with the district; especially the students.
“The kids have just been great,” he said.