By Charles Sercombe
The Hamtramck Public School District employees said their goodbyes last week to retiring Superintendent Tom Niczay.
Niczay has been the superintendent of the district for 11 years, and spent a total of 41 years in education – most of it in Hamtramck.
The employees gathered Wednesday afternoon at the newly-remodeled kitchen in Kosciuszko Middle School before the monthly school board meeting took place.
Niczay became superintendent after a string of prior superintendents had little luck in getting along with school boardmembers and district staff members.
He also came on board when the district was going through rocky financial times. The district at one point had a $5 million budget deficit. Today, the district boasts of an $11 million surplus.
Niczay touched on that, crediting district staff and employees with helping to turn the district’s finances around.
“We’re far from perfect, but we truly care about each other,” Niczay said at the reception held for him.
Later at the board meeting, Board President Magdalena Srodek praised Niczay’s leadership.
“What this man has done for the district is immeasurable,” she said., “You live and breathe Hamtramck schools. You just can’t retire from being awesome.”
Niczay, who is not one who enjoys being in the spotlight, again gave credit to the district.
“Truly, it’s teamwork, not just one person,” he said.
He also noted that the district will be in good hands with the new superintendent, Jaleelah Ahmed, who has been Director of the district’s English Language Development Department.
“I’m very confident passing the baton to Mrs. Ahmed,” Niczay said. “Hamtramck will hopefully live on forever.”
The school board then presented Niczay with a made-in-Detroit Shinola watch.
Niczay retires at the end of June.
June 21, 2019