In an unexpected statement, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Marinel McGrath on Thursday night announced her resignation effective July 17 saying her family must be her priority in the wake of a medical diagnosis involving her husband.
McGrath shared the news at the School Committee meeting, one day after notifying board members of what she said was a difficult decision.
She was given a standing ovation by the committee and those in the audience for Thursday night's public hearing on the proposal fiscal 2016 school budget.
Visibly upset School Committee members said they were saddened to learn of McGrath's decision, but understood her family must be a priority.
They praised McGrath for her success and achievements in leading the Andover Public Schools for the last five years and said she has built a solid foundation that will continue after her departure.
McGrath returned to Andover as superintendent in July 2010 after having previously served as assistant superintendent from 1995 to 2002.
She then spent eight years as the superintendent of the Hamilton-Wenham district before being selected to come back to Andover.
After graduating from Indiana University with majors in French and English and a minor in German, McGrath began her career as a middle and high school language teacher in Indiana. She moved to Massachusetts soon after and worked as a teacher for the gifted and talented in Medfield, Hanover, Canton and Newburyport before moving into administrative roles.
She has a master's in educational psychology from the University of Connecticut and a doctorate in education policy from Boston University, which she completed while working in Andover as assistant superintendent.
The Andover Townsman is preparing a full report on the development. Check back at www.andovertownsman.com.