CFES principal resigns

See UPDATE below

Shawn Dutkiewicz, principal at Chadds Ford Elementary School, is resigning effective Sept. 30. Unionville-Chadds Ford School Board directors voted to accept his resignation during their Sept.9 work session. Dennis McKnight was appointed as interim principal effective Oct. 1 at a salary of $700 per day.

No reason for Dutkiewicz’s resignation was given and he has not yet responded to queries from Chadds Ford Live. He has been principal at CFES since the 2014-2015 school year.

According to Superintendent John Sanville, McKnight has previously been the interim principal at Unionville High School and Patton Middle School, as well as being the interim principal at schools in the Radnor School District.

McKnight thanked the board for their vote and said he was glad to serve “for not too long,” but added, “I’m really excited and can’t wait to get here.”

UPDATE:

Dutkiewicz has accepted the position of Elementary Director of Teaching and Learning in the Radnor Township School District.

In his letter of resignation, Dutkiewicz said he had thought he’d be serving the CFES community for many years but “I subscribe to the notion that once you become comfortable somewhere, it may be time to move on and challenge yourself with new endeavors.”

He said the term “bittersweet” can’t begin to express how he about leaving.

“I sincerely love Chadds Ford and will always remember my time with great fondness, devotion, and appreciation for the people that I have met and the friendships that I have made. I will look forward to following Chadds Ford’s success in the years ahead,” he wrote.

His full letter of resignation follows:

“It is with a very heavy heart that I write to inform you that I am resigning my position as Principal of Chadds Ford Elementary. As truly difficult as it will be to leave CFE, I have been offered an opportunity that will provide me with new career challenges and experiences. Pending board approval, I will be joining the Radnor Township School District as their Elementary Director of Teaching and Learning. This role will enable me to oversee the Radnor elementary buildings, curriculum and programs.

“I have long considered the prospect of serving the Chadds Ford community as principal for many years to come and the self-fulfillment that would come with that decision. At the same time, I subscribe to the notion that once you become comfortable somewhere, it may be time to move on and challenge yourself with new endeavors.

“Chadds Ford has literally been my second home for more than five years, and I have come to absolutely love the CFES staff, the community, and most of all, the students. The UCFSD Superintendent, Dr. Sanville, School Board, and administrative team and staff have been extraordinarily supportive of me and I am eternally grateful for the opportunities and friendships that I have gained.

“Chadds Ford is in a tremendous place with regard to culture, achievement, and support from our staff and community. I feel very confident that these areas will continue to grow to even greater levels. I want to thank all of our Chadds Ford families and friends who have supported me, our staff, our students and our school for so many years. I want to thank our Chadds Ford PTO board, committee heads, and parent volunteers for their remarkable work and efforts. The Chadds Ford students, staff, and community have left an indelible mark on me that I will never forget.

“This decision has been exceptionally difficult and the word ‘bittersweet’ does not begin to express my true sentiments. I sincerely love Chadds Ford and will always remember my time with great fondness, devotion, and appreciation for the people that I have met and the friendships that I have made. I will look forward to following Chadds Ford’s success in the years ahead.

“UCFSD Superintendent, Dr. Sanville will follow this letter with details regarding a transition plan for CFES. I am fully committed to supporting the process to the greatest degree necessary.

“Once again, thank you for your support over the last five years.”

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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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