Once the first female high school principal in Ithaca and a 40-plus year veteran of education, Randy Ehrenberg is calling it quits as superintendent in North Colonie.
Ehrenberg said her time as superintendent was one of academic achievement, fiscal responsibility and a journey rarely considered easy. In retirement, she plans to pursue writing, consulting, family life, curriculum mapping and lots of other things there is little time for with the responsibility of running a school district.
Her favorite part of the job, she said, was being with the students.
I love celebrating with them, she said.
Ehrenberg said she prides herself on the academic strength of the district, regularly considered tops in the Capital District and often regarded as one of the strongest in the state.
However, living apart from her husband, Ron, a labor economist and professor at Cornell University, losing a son and the deaths of students are a few of the roadblocks she had to overcome during her tenure.
Originally from Ithaca, where she spent time teaching and working in administration, Ehrenberg and her husband decided early on that if she was going to take a position in Colonie, they would have two residences and split time between them. She said she is grateful her husband was able to make it out to so many Colonie school events, especially on the weekends, and provided her with a great deal of support. She said her husband is dedicated to education, passionate about his work and plans on continuing to work at the university for a while longer.
"We didn't envision nine years," she said of her decision to take a position in North Colonie, but, "in coming here, I found my Cornell. I think I've done a pretty credible job."
Only after her children had gone on the higher education, though, was she willing to become head of a school district, noting she did not want to compromise motherhood for professional admirations.