Robinson disclosed Tuesday plans to retire in June, after eight years overseeing the school district, a tenure which has included some conflict with the Board of Education.
“I finally came to the conclusion that the work is never finished, and if I was looking for it to be done, I would never leave,” Robinson said to the board at its meeting Tuesday, which was streamed on YouTube.
Robinson’s retirement will align with the expiration of her contract, which was extended by two years in 2019.
When announcing her plans to leave Stratford schools, she noted the district’s progress in overcoming achievement gaps during her administration, and how David Wooster Middle School was named 2019-2020 Middle School of the Year by the Connecticut Association of Schools. She said when she arrived in Stratford, the district had a lot of work to do to improve curriculum development and instructional strategy, and that work is ongoing.
Prior to her time in Stratford, Robinson was superintendent of Newtown schools. On Tuesday, she detailed how she accepted a handshake agreement to take over in Stratford on Dec. 13, 2012, the day before the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, and how the Stratford school board waited for her as she responded to the tragedy in Newtown.
“I was impressed by what a class act Stratford was,” she said.
Stratford Board of Education Chair Allison DelBene thanked Robinson for disclosing her retirement early in the year, allowing many months for the district to search for its next leader.
“Your guidance and leadership have helped so many in our district, and we thank you,” DelBene said.
Tensions between Robinson and the board have been apparent in recent months. In May, the board issued Robinson a reprimand letter, which was published by the Connecticut Post, and which said Robinson communicated poorly and gave board members misinformation.
Board members also questioned Robinson’s honesty and transparency at a meeting in early September. DelBene at that meeting said Robinson had not consulted with the board or given its members information prior to granting two students permission to attend school in-person four days per week, instead of the two days each week most students spend in the classroom under the district’s hybrid model. Additionally, DelBene speculated it was possible more than two students had received permission to be in the classroom four days per week.