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Lower Merion School District


Supt. Copeland Announces His Planned Retirement

April 12, 2021

Dear LMSD Community,

At tonight's Education Meeting of the Lower Merion Board of School Directors, I announced my intention to retire this fall. Initially, my intent was to retire soon after the opening of the new middle school, which is being built to accommodate LMSD's ever-increasing enrollment.

However, like so many others, this past year has forced me to reevaluate many plans for my family and myself. My wife and I had planned on spending last year searching for a kinder, gentler climate in which to retire and, of course, that had to be put on hold. It is with mixed emotions that I plan on retiring this fall. I feel an obligation in making certain the school project and our reopening are in good order, but then I will bid a fond farewell.

When I began my tenure in Lower Merion, the Board of School Directors made it clear that my number one task was to take the strategic plan, "All Forward," from aspiration to implementation and reality. With the strong support of my colleagues and the community we have done just that.

Over the last six years, I have found myself saying over and over how extraordinary the teachers, administrators and support staff are in this District. I have always known that Lower Merion was something special and this past year took my admiration to new levels. What I witnessed happen since March 13, 2020, (when the District was required to shut down its schools and offices) is something I could never have imagined. I was surrounded by a team of colleagues that rolled up their sleeves and said, "What do you need done?" As we worked on taking the District to remote learning in a matter of days, I once again saw what sets Lower Merion apart. The exceptional contributions made over the summer, as supervisors and teachers took what they had learned and created a summer program to then adjusting (yet again) in the fall as we began our first of what would seem like three openings, were amazing. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the work of those who prepared and delivered lunches; cleaned and sanitized the buildings and worked remotely to insure the daily business of a school district, including delivering IEP's, during the closure. This hard work and dedication are things that are to be praised and certainly not taken for granted.

While the work is not done yet, I want to let you know how extremely proud I am to have served the students and community alongside such a great team.

And to the Lower Merion Board of School Directors who have been supportive task masters: This is my third district as superintendent and I can tell you, without a doubt, no one does this job well without a top-flight Board of School Directors. Their compassion, commitment and dedication know no boundaries. The issues they are required to oversee can be quite difficult at times, yet they always put the welfare of the students and community at the forefront. The intellectual capital along with their commitment to every child, in every neighborhood, in every school has made my job meaningful and rewarding. I have greatly appreciated their support, will miss them and wish them much luck and success in the future.

In closing, I am sincerely grateful and appreciate you all very much.


Robert Copeland

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