OSWEGO – After being in school for 53 years, Oswego City School District Superintendent Dr. Dean Goewey is ready to graduate into retirement.
Following his tenure as a student and a 36-year career working in the field of education, Dr. Goewey’s retirement was bittersweetly approved by the district’s Board of Education during its Jan. 21 meeting.
Although Dr. Goewey’s contract runs through June of 2021, Dr. Goewey said that he will leave the post Aug. 31 through the same doors at Leighton Elementary he entered as a kindergarten student.
“There’s never a good time to go but at some point, you have to say, ‘I’m done,’ he said. “The Oswego City School District has been a part of my family for three generations; I grew up in the halls of (Charles E.) Riley Elementary.”
After he taught first grade for several years in the Central Square School District when he was in his early 20s, Dr. Goewey first came to OCSD as a reading teacher at Kingsford Park Elementary School.
He held that position from 1991 to 2001 before he began his OCSD administrative experience as principal of CER Elementary from 2001 to 2008 and then Minetto Elementary from 2008-2014.
His lengthy OCSD resume also includes time as the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction and acting superintendent before he was officially named superintendent in November 2015.
While his retirement has been announced, Dr. Goewey said there is much work left to do before he shuts his door.
Overseeing the groundbreaking of phase II of the capital project, additional instructional initiatives, staff recognitions and student connections are a few of the tasks left to complete.
“I’m not coasting out of the door,” he said. “I always aspire to do more, and I had aspired to do that right here in Oswego.”
Excited for opportunities in retirement, but simultaneously sad to leave a respected career behind, Dr. Goewey said he has taken pride in all of his achievements which would not have been possible without a phenomenal staff and an amazing support system.
Some of his career highlights include: helping to bring financial stability to the district through revenue-based budgeting, school safety and security, the sale of the old education center on East First Street, the re-purposing of Leighton Elementary, and the promotion of/ passing of/ actual work of the most recent capital project.
“The greatest thing we did is (enhance) the quality of instruction and we did that by creating a mission and vision that focused on the quality of education and children,” he said.
The hope for all OCSD students, he said, is that they leave the school district “fully prepared and life ready.”
Dr. Goewey commended the dedication of both current and former OCSD staff members, including teachers like Jim Metcalf, Ed Lisk and Mary Ciappa, but that “the new generation of teachers are really good.”
Upon reflection of his lengthy career, Dr. Goewey said aside from his father, one person who had made a significant impact on his professional life was Gary Roy.
Roy had served as his first principal in Central Square, but as his career blossomed, Dr. Goewey was fortunate enough to gain related experience and leadership knowledge from Roy in OCSD.
Dr. Goewey had served as an administrative intern at Fitzhugh Park Elementary when Roy had served as principal.
He also credited long-standing BOE member Samuel Tripp with teaching him a lot about community service and said the current BOE leadership of Heather DelConte and Kathleen Allen has been a tremendous asset.
What propelled him into a forward, positive-thinking leadership style, he said, were his experiences with bad leaders.
His work alongside dedicated staff members and volunteers who shared his spirit of inclusivity made his years at OCSD rich and enjoyable. Dr. Goewey’s hope for the district, he said, is the board selects a fearless and compassionate leader who continues the progress made in the last several years.
An advocate of literacy and inclusion, Dr. Goewey said he will take what he has learned and grown throughout OCSD and gladly use those two passions to some capacity in his retirement. He will enjoy that phase of his life alongside his wife, Linda, who also will retire this summer from a long career in education.
Dr. Goewey also plans to spend more time with his three grown sons and two grandchildren, re-join the teaching staff at St. John Fisher College and travel, including a trip to Italy in September.