‘It’s time’ for longtime N-P administrator
On June 15, 1998, Randy Strabala made the phone call that changed his life.
And almost 20 years after he called Linda Johanningmeier and inquired about the open high school principal position in the district, he has absolutely no regrets about dialing that number.
“She told me they were pretty much done with the interviews,” Strabala said, “but then she said, if I could send something up to her that day, she’d take a look at it.”
So he went to work putting together a resume and letter, sent it by fax and figured he’d never hear back.
Lo and behold, though, the phone rang, and thus, began a whirlwind four days for the man who will soon retire after almost 20 years as an administrator at Nashua-Plainfield Community Schools.
Johanningmeier did call back, and the following day, Strabala and his wife, Jan, made the drive from Central City to Nashua for an interview. The day after that, he returned to Nashua to meet with School Board members, who offered him the job on the spot.
“I told them I should probably talk to Jan and make sure. You know, I wasn’t born yesterday,” he said with a laugh. “They told me to call back by noon the next day.”
He did, and on June 18, 1998, he accepted the position.
A few hours later, a tornado ripped through parts of Nashua, including Cedar View Park.
“I don’t know if that was God asking them what are you doing hiring Strabala? But seriously, we couldn’t have made a better decision.”
Fast forward 19 1/2 years, 11 years of which he spent as a principal and 8 1/2 years of which he served as the district’s superintendent.
Sometime on Dec. 29, Strabala will pack up his last box and turn off the lights in his office for one last time and head into retirement.
“It’s time, and I am ready,” he said. “I’ve spent the last 30-plus years spending time with other people’s kids and now I want to spend time with my own. Not that I haven’t been blessed here — this has been a wonderful school district and community that has provided us with great support — but I’m ready.”
For more of this article, see Thursday's Nashua Reporter.