Mr. deMarrais Announces Retirement

Mr. deMarrais Announces Retirement
Photo: Mr. Glenn deMarrais, Principal of Pascack Hills High School

Announcement from Superintendent of Schools, Dr. P. Erik Gundersen regarding the retirement of Pascack Hills High School Principal Mr. Glenn deMarrais:

On Monday, January 13, Mr. Glenn deMarrais announced to staff, students, and parents of his intent to retire at the end of the current school year.  In his announcement to staff, Mr. deMarrais noted “I love this place.  It is my second home.  I love the people who work with me.  I love helping you and helping these students every day.  Leaving is hard, but after a lot of thought and discussion with my family, I know it is time.”

On behalf of the district, I would like to thank Mr. deMarrais for his 20 years of service to the district and recognize his integral role in making Pascack Hills High School a model for schools across the country.

Photo: Pascack Hills High School Principal Mr. Glenn deMarrais 
Photo: Pascack Hills Principal Mr. Glenn deMarrais
Photo Credit: Ms. Danielle Garretson

We all know Mr. deMarrais as principal, and some of us go back to his days as assistant principal; however, a little known fact is that Mr. deMarrais’ first exposure to Pascack Hills was as an industrial arts teacher for the 1988-1989 school year.  In 2001, after 12 years away from the district, Mr. deMarrais returned to Pascack Hills as the assistant principal.  Following the retirement of Ms. Sarah Van Gunten in 2012, he was appointed principal and upon his retirement, will have served in this role for eight years.

Mr. deMarrais is a leader among his peers with respect to his focus on school climate and culture.  #HillsPride has been his mantra on Twitter, in the halls, and at graduation.  But #HillsPride is more than a slogan - it has become a way of life at Pascack Hills.  Students and staff embrace Pascack Hills as their own, taking great pride in not only their many achievements, but also in helping one another in times of need.  

#HillsPride starts with student wellness, a continuous goal of Mr. deMarrais.  When working with administration, “Is this best for our students?” is a question Mr. deMarrais is often heard asking as he looks to assure all decisions are made in their best interest.  When working with students, he continuously encourages them to take a balanced approach by working hard, while enjoying academic experiences, co-curricular activities, and athletics.  

A former coach himself, he recognizes the value that comes from the discipline and teamwork athletics provides for all students - both the athletes themselves and the “Cowboy Crazies” that support their peers.  Continuing with the theme of wellness, Mr. deMarrais helped launch the “Pascack Schedule” and is a strong advocate for the “Pascack Period,” where students can choose how to best spend their time.

#HillsPride carries into all the school does and achieves.  Mr. deMarrais is an advocate of “Project Paterson,” a program our students are active with that has helped thousands of children in need over the years.  He is a strong supporter of the Theatre program, DECA, and the many other programs Pascack Hills students are involved with that celebrate achievement outside of athletics, allowing #HillsPride to be front and center in everything everyone does in the school.

Along with many, I will miss seeing Mr. deMarrais on the front curb of Pascack Hills, greeting students as they enter the building in the morning, as it is his sincere love for the students and staff at Hills that has made him such a successful and respected principal.  Mr. deMarrais is #HillsPride and his presence will be missed by all.  We wish him nothing but health and happiness as he looks to embark on the next chapter of his life with his family.

In the upcoming days and weeks, we will announce plans to perform a complete and exhaustive search for the next principal of Pascack Hills, which will include seeking input from all stakeholders.  We look to complete the search and announce his permanent replacement in the spring of 2020, providing an appropriate amount of time as we transition to new leadership.  If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to contact me.

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