DERRY — A local elementary school wanted to say goodbye to its retiring principal in a big way.
Derry Village Elementary School’s principal Stephen Miller is calling it quits after serving the school as teacher, assistant principal and finally as principal for a total of 34 years.
A special year-end assembly was held Monday to honor Miller and was also a prelude to a final week of activities, including field day and a barbecue.
Children, teachers and other Derry Village staff filed in the school gym on Monday morning for the assembly, many wearing fake mustaches to honor Miller and his own facial hair.
Assistant Principal Chris McCallum will be taking over as principal next year and told students that Miller deserved some surprises for his final week of school.
Miller spent 34 years at the school, first teaching physical education, then taking over as assistant principal in 1994, and finally the top job in 2003.
Students created a special memory book for Miller and also presented him with a framed photo of the school with student and staff signatures.
The school’s gymnasium will also be named in Miller’s honor. He received a plaque that will be placed in the gym once the official dedication is made.