By LINDSAY OLIVIER
WEST GREENWICH – After five years as superintendent of the Exeter-West Greenwich school district, Dr. Thomas Geismar announced this week that he will resign from his position at the end of the school year.
A 62 year-old grandfather of two, Geismar said he and his wife will be moving to northern Florida to be closer to their three children and he will leave with a lifetime of knowledge and great accomplishments under his belt.
“It’s been a great ride,” Geismar said. “It hasn’t always been easy, but working with the great staff that I have has helped tremendously.”
Geismar said the big difficulty of his job was trying to meet the challenges associated with “the worst economic environment” he’s seen in his life but he remains proud that even during the difficulties, the school district has been able to maintain most of its programs.
“The community needs to understand that they have a school committee, teachers and administration that are passionate about what they do and they always keep the students’ needs first.”
He said he’s proud that students across the entire district have made significant progress in math and English/language arts. Additionally, the EWG Sports4Kids track is nearing completion, a project that Geismar described as “no small feat”.
During his tenure, Exeter-West Greenwich instituted programs designed to bring awareness to bullying and although bullying in schools can’t be completely eradicated, he’s happy the matter has been given the attention it deserves. The success of various sports and extracurricular activities in the school district is also something Geismar feels proud of.
“The athletic programs have continued to gain in popularity and it’s gratifying to see so many students involved in the arts program and drama,” said Geismar. “To have been a part of all this is a wonderful thing.”
Living in West Greenwich, Geismar says it’s “been a treat” to reside in a “beautiful” section of the state and he and his wife will miss walking the streets of Wickford and East Greenwich.
This year marks his 41st year in education and, in many ways, the move to the Sunshine State will be a return home for Geismar, who previously worked in the Broward County School District in Southern Florida.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Hiram College in Ohio and his doctoral in education from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Fla.
“Once we get settled in Florida, I don’t intend not to work anymore,” Geismer said. “I’m thinking of either getting involved in higher education or work on an interest of mine-writing.”