O ne important detail Mark Bessen asked about when considering the Granville superintendent position four years ago was the quality of his would-be secretary, Diana Pitts. The answer was encouraging.
“She had a good reputation as being very organized and knowing about what needs to get done in the superintendent’s office,” Bessen said. And she has continued to prove this good standing. “It’s been great; she’s like a partner in trying to make sure this office is running well and meeting the needs of the school board, teachers and students.”
Pitts, who is in her eleventh year as the superintendent’s secretary and district clerk, will retire at the end of December. She has worked under five different superintendents here.
“I’ve enjoyed immensely working in Granville; it’s been a wonderful ride,” Pitts said. Though she’s very happy in her work, she feels a strong duty to take care of her aging father.
“I need to do certain things for my family, but I want to be associated with the school,” Pitts said. And associate she will, in helping pick and train her own replacement. She will do her best to ensure an easy transition by working closely in guiding the new secretary come January.
Pitts, who was born in Puerto Rico, went to college there to be a secretary. In 1985, at the influence of her brother, who was a lawyer, Pitts and her five children moved to Connecticut. There she began a 40-year secretarial career that took her from law firms to the Veterans Association, and eventually to the Granville school district.
“We’re very fortunate to have someone of her caliber,” Bessen said. “Basically, she does the job of an executive secretary; it’s a professional position.”
The appreciation is mutual.
“The staff has really welcomed me and embraced me,” Pitts said. “The Board has been amazingly for me and with me all the way through; they’ve demonstrated caring.”
Former Superintendent Daniel Teplesky worked with Pitts for five years and shares Bessen’s sentiments.
“It wasn’t a superintendent – secretary relationship; it was a partnership to make sure every decision made was made in the best interest of the students,” Teplesky said of their work together.
She stressed how much the staff wants the kids to succeed, and how that impacted her desire to continue a working relationship with the district. She has always valued learning and doing the best one can, a philosophy that affected all five of her children, who each went to college and eventually successful careers.
“I think education is so important; without that you have nothing,” Pitts said.
Bessen considers himself fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Pitts.
“She’s definitely going to be missed,” he said.