2009-01-08 / News

School Department business manager retires

By Eileen M. Daly

Maria Alfred, business manager for the Jamestown School Department, retired Dec. 26, after eight and one half years of service.

As business manager, Alfred led the business department and was responsible for a variety of services including supervising the budget, purchasing, payroll, the payment of bills, health benefits and any financial reports required by the Department of Education.

Alfred, a resident of Narragansett, said she decided to retire not for any specific reason, but because it was time. "I've reached retirement age," she said. Since her retirement is so recent and it occurred right at the peak of the holiday season she can't yet comment on what retirement is like. "I haven't had time to really experience it yet," Alfred said.

She is, however, looking forward to a number of things. "I'd like to volunteer with the American Cancer Society," Alfred said. "They are a great organization that is really there for people when they need it."

Before beginning that part of her retirement journey, Alfred has some other pressing business. "Both of my children are on the West Coast," Alfred said. "My son is in Los Angeles and my daughter is in Oregon." The first order of business for Alfred, then, will be visiting her children. "My husband and I will be doing a bit of traveling and then I will look into volunteering," she said.

Of her time with the Jamestown School Department, Alfred had nothing but good things to say. "The people are really wonderful. Jamestown should be really

proud of their schools because they have a really great school department," she said. Alfred was also quite complimentary toward the Jamestown School Committee. "The school committee has a great group of people. They work really hard for the children, but I also feel that they keep the residents of Jamestown in mind and try to do their best by everyone," she said. "Really, the children are the main focus for everyone who works in the department and that's how it should be."

Of all the things she will miss now that she is retired, Alfred said she will miss the people she worked with the most. "I will really miss the people that I worked with every day. They are all great people who have been very good to me," she said.

Alfred also said she will miss seeing the little children at Melrose Avenue School. "I didn't get to spend a lot of time with the children," Alfred said, "but I will miss seeing them coming in and out of the school."

One of her favorite memories and someone she will dearly miss is pre-school teacher Marguerite Wark. "Whenever I'd come in through the side door at Melrose, I'd see Miss Peg out there with her pre-school class. The children are so sweet and Miss Peg would always greet me with a big smile and a cheerful 'Good Morning.' She made my day, she really did. I'm going to miss that the most," Alfred said.

Alfred holds a B.S.S. degree from Bryant College with a major in accounting and administration. Jane Littlefield, who previously worked in Human Resources, has taken over Alfred's position.

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