Cheektowaga Central School Superintendent Delia Bonenberger Tuesday night announced her intention to retire sometime later this year.
"The decision to announce retirement has been an extremely difficult decision for me," she said in an emotional address to the School Board. "It is hard to walk away from being a significant contributor to our school district, because our district has a positive impact on the lives of our students and on our community."
Bonenberger, who is in her 35th year as an educator, has served as an administrator for 21 years. She came to the Cheektowaga Central School District in 1995 as director of learning and technology. She was named assistant superintendent in 1999 and superintendent in 2003.
A 1977 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, Bonenberger worked as a substitute teacher, a third-grade teacher and a reading specialist in the Salamanca Central School District before earning her administrative certification.
"I have focused across these many years to bring out the best in people, students and colleagues, believing that people improve their weaknesses by building on their strengths," she said.
"Cheektowaga Central is something like the little engine that could, and perhaps I have been the engineer," she said. "We face many challenges. We never give up and we have made great strides. It has been my privilege and pleasure -- almost always -- to serve as your leader."
School Board President Brian Gould acknowledged Bonenberger's contributions, including her engagement with the community and her work on behalf of the district's taxpayers.
"We owe you a debt of gratitude," he said.