Mars school chief to retire next year
December 4, 2012

ADAMS TWP — Mars School District Superintendent William Pettigrew is retiring after 25 years at the helm.

Pettigrew announced at the Tuesday school board meeting that his retirement will be effective on Dec. 1, 2013.

He said the financial crunch faced by districts across the state during the past few years did not figure into his decision to retire.

“I’ve spent 43 years in public education, plus it is time for Mars School District to find a new educational leader,” Pettigrew said.

District enrollment has exploded since 1987, when Pettigrew accepted the position as Mars superintendent. When he started, 1,475 students attended Mars schools, compared to 3,230 this school year.

Pettigrew said the reasoning for the population explosion is simple.

“People discovered the best-kept secret in Pennsylvania: The Mars School District,” Pettigrew said.

“As a school superintendent, I have always had very supportive and pro-education boards who consider students first and foremost,” Pettigrew said. “I think that’s the most positive thing you can say about the school district: the kids came first.”

Pettigrew and his wife, Debbie, live in Adams Township. They have four grown children and six grandchildren.

Pettigrew said he plans to work after he retires, but is unsure in what capacity.

The school board will hire a consultant in the near future to help find a new superintendent.