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Bethlehem Superintendent Joe Roy to retire

Joe Roy.jpg
Phil Gianficaro
Joseph Roy, superintendent of the Bethlehem Area School District

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Bethlehem Area School Superintendent Joseph Roy announced Thursday he will retire at the end of the school year.

Roy has been the district's superintendent for more than 10 years.

  • BASD Superintendent Joseph Roy has announced he will retire in July
  • Before becoming superintendent, he was an assistant principal and teacher in the school district
  • Roy has been the subject of an internal personnel investigation since November of last year

He will formally retire in July.

“I have been fortunate to have the support of amazing school board members who value public education and do what’s best for students and the community, " Roy said in one of his signature videos.

"I am honored to have worked with the finest group of teachers, staff and administrators in any district, anywhere. The entire Bethlehem community values its public schools and I am proud to have played a role in this district for the past 13 school years."

Roy said he's been in education for more than 35 years and started planning to retire this year. He said both his adult daughters are getting married in the next school and he wants the time to enjoy those milestone events.

"I thought 'What the heck am I doing?'" he said. "It's hard to separate from this job to truly enjoy big events and I thought, 'What the heck am I doing, I can retire now.'"

Roy still has two daughters who attend school in the district, one in fifth grade and the other in seventh grade. Roy said his wife also is ready for him to retire, especially after the coronavirus pandemic caused tension around masks and virtual learning.

Read more: Findings of secret investigation in Bethlehem Area School District will stay under wraps, board president says

"She did her duty too," he said. "She sacrificed, too, and it was time for family to not have to make that sacrifice."

He's said he's not planning to put up his feet. Roy said he is interested in teaching college courses, doing some speaking engagements and consulting around leadership, equity and diversity.

Roy has been the subject of an internal personnel investigation by Bethlehem Schools since November.

The school board hired retired Judge Emil Giordano of the Norris McLaughlin law firm to do the probe, which ended last month without a release of the findings being made public.

Roy would not reveal what the judge was investigating. But he said it did not factor into his decision to retire at this time.

"I can say it had zero impact on this decision," he said. "Personally it's unfortunate that that allegation and headlines were made. It's not related to this."

Roy said the board will announce its succession plans Monday. The board also has its budget workshop Monday night.

Prior to becoming superintendent, he was an assistant principal and teacher in the school district.

Read more: Bethlehem School Board hires former judge to conduct investigation involving the school district