By Scott Calzolaio
Staff Reporter

Henry P. Clough Elementary Principal Janice Gallagher announced her retirement effective, June 30, after 27 years of service to the Mendon-Upton school community, families, and students.

“The Mendon-Upton Regional School District has big shoes to fill with Mrs. Gallagher’s departure,” it says in the announcement.

Beginning her career as a kindergarten teacher at the Memorial Elementary School in Upton, Gallagher moved on to become a second-grade teacher at the H. P. Clough Elementary School, where she has spent the majority of her professional career.

In addition, she served as Director of Curriculum for the Mendon-Upton Regional School district for four years. There, she oversaw the district’s curriculum and instruction, professional development, and mentoring and induction programming. Eventually, she realized how much she missed the connections with students and working with teachers, leading her back to the school where she has served in her current position as Principal of Clough Elementary for the past eleven years.

Gallagher said that when it was time for her daughter to start kindergarten, she moved to Upton primarily to put her through the MURSD school system.

The decision to retire after 27 years was not an easy one for Gallagher to make.

“It’s been amazing,” she said in an interview with The Town Crier. “The kids and staff are just incredible. I’m going to really miss them, more than I could ever express.”

Spending time in Kansas with her daughter and grandchildren are high on the post-retirement list. Along with staying active outdoors, skiing, hiking and just “enjoying it all while I’m healthy,” she said.

One of the best things about working at Clough, Gallagher said, is the culture she has tried to create, and how the message has been received.

“Our motto here is ‘One Team, One Goal, No Limits,’ and those aren’t just words with my staff. They live by it,” she said. “We all work together, and I hope that’s what I’ve instilled in them.”

Several staff provided testimonials in a press release regarding Gallagher’s retirement, commenting on her

personal connection with students and her staff and her devotion to her position. “From playing recess games with children, eating lunch in the cafeteria, to coaching Clough staff, Mrs. Gallagher has made a lasting impression with the Clough community,” said one testimonial.

Dr. Maureen Cohen, Superintendent of the Mendon-Upton Regional School District, stated, “You can feel the positive culture of kindness and caring the moment you walk through the front door of H.P. Clough Elementary School and that is a direct result of the legacy and leadership of Mrs. Gallagher. Not only does she know each student by name, she cares deeply about them and they know it.”

The Principal’s position is now open and the school district is taking applications. Anyone interested in applying for the position should apply at “The positive culture Gallagher has established mak