REHOBOTH — Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School Principal Gail DeCecco has submitted her resignation after just one year in the position.
“Unfortunately, the DRRHS principal has chosen to leave us after this school year,” Superintendent Bill Runey said in an email. “It is a loss for our community as she has accomplished a great deal in just one year at the helm. She is leaving DR a better place than she found it.”
A search is already underway for a replacement.
“We have posted the position and are in the process of assembling a screening committee,” Runey said. “I am confident we can find someone willing to make a long-term commitment to the students, staff, and families by being a champion of all of the great things happening here while also displaying the strength to help us grow through our weaknesses.”
D-R School Committee members shared similar sentiments.
“When I heard of Mrs. DeCecco’s resignation, I was surprised and disappointed. She clearly had a positive impact on the DRRHS community based on the response we’ve seen since her announcement,” committee Chairman Aaron Morse said via email.
“She was very highly regarded as an assistant principal for several years and did great things in her one year as principal,” Morse said. “I do not know of any specific reason why Mrs. DeCecco made this decision, but each individual has their own unique circumstances that factor into doing what is best for them. I wish Mrs. DeCecco all the best wherever her path leads.”
DeCecco, a former local student who served as an assistant principal at the high school for several years before taking the principal’s job, didn’t respond to a request for comment.
“My hope is that the next principal is a long term commitment that brings stability and continuity to the high school and builds upon the positive momentum generated under Mrs. DeCecco’s tenure,” Morse said.
Assistant Superintendent Fred Souza singled out DeCecco last October during National Principal Month.
“Mrs. DeCecco is an extremely hard worker, is humble, has a great sense of humor, and is committed to serving the interests of students above all else. Mrs. DeCecco truly has a can-do attitude, and disposition she carries to every challenge, every day,” Souza said. “She cares so deeply about all students, and she takes the time to know them well. In return, students confide in Mrs. DeCecco because they know she cares, and this confidence contributes highly to the positivity of the school climate.”
“Mrs. DeCecco is the best Principal I have had in my four years here at Dighton-Rehoboth High School,” a student remarked last October. “She actually listens and cares. This school is so much better with Mrs. DeCecco as principal.”
A post on social media this week said the principal is a “remarkable person who was making progress” at the high school.
DeCecco replaced John Gould, who was principal for five years.
She began teaching in 2008, working until 2019 as a secondary English teacher, department leader, instructional coach, and administrator in Providence schools.
Prior to teaching, she worked in human services where she supported youth and adults with disabilities. DeCecco and her husband were for several years therapeutic foster parents for youngsters with special needs.
DeCecco once attended North Rehoboth Elementary School.
The school system has seen a major turnover in administrators since last school year, including new principals at Palmer River Elementary School and Beckwith Middle School, both in Rehoboth. The superintendent and assistant superintendent are also wrapping up their first year.