Dr. Joe Scanlan, a man with the steady, gentle temperament of a parish priest, is stepping away from a job he loves in a few months.
Appropriately enough, for the past 11 years, Scanlan has been principal of Notre Dame High School, the private Catholic school on Union Street in Batavia.
"It takes a lot of energy to do this job," Scanlan said. "I pretty much do everything here except business. And you wouldn't want me to be the business manager. Tommy Rapone does a nice job. In addition to being principal, you're talking admissions, recruitment, pubic relations, newsletter and all the rest of the stuff. It's time to give somebody else a chance."
Scanlan's tenure at Notre Dame caps a 47-year career in education, which includes 15 at Byron-Bergen as a history teacher, assistant principal and principal, and 11 years as principal at York Central School.
Scanlan has found it particularly rewarding to shepherd area teens through their preparatory education at his own alma mater.
"I love it here, especially the kids," Scanlan said. "It's a great group of kids here. There's great kids in every school, so it's not just Notre Dame, but the students here are special group. They're pretty gritty. They're competitive, but they're respectful."
There are 170 students in grades 9-12 at Notre Dame. When the seniors graduate this spring, it will be Scanlan's final graduation with the school, it will also be the 50th anniversary year of his own class's graduation.
It's tradition for classes to be invited back for the graduation ceremony on their 50th anniversary, so Scanlan is hoping he'll see a lot of his former classmates.
Scanlan said the school board already has a number of qualified candidates who have expressed interest in the job.
There is also a $5 million capital campaign under way at the school, so the next principal will have plenty to do from the first day on the job.
As for Scanlan's own plans he says, "right now the plan is to have no plan."
He has a son and granddaughter living in Cleveland and more time to travel will mean more time with his family.
He plans to continue living in Le Roy.