UPDATED -- Friday, 2 p.m.
The Tewksbury School District is about to lose one of its senior administrators.
Robert LaRoche, principal of the has accepted a position in the Waltham Public School District to take the reigns of the Fitzgerald Middle School next school year.
LaRoche , a Watertown resident, will become principal of the school on July 1, he told Patch prior to the start of last night’s Waltham School Committee meeting.
LaRoche will replace Interim Principal Dr. Charles McInnis, who took over for one year after former principal Alice Shull retired last school year.
LaRoche also said he wanted to work in school with a wider ranger of grades than his current school, which offers only kindergarten through second grade, whereas Fitzgerald offers kindergarten through fifth grade.
“I liked the vision that Waltham is presenting,” LaRoche told the school committee.
To view a video of LaRoche, click on the photo box to the right.
Tewksbury Superintendent of Schools Dr. John O'Connor said he was ware that LaRoche was up for the Waltham job and that he will be missed.
"(LaRoche) has been an outstanding principal," said O'Connor. He has been a valuable member of our administrative team and his departure greats a large void."
LaRoche said he will miss the students and staff of Dewing but said he felt more comfortable with the structure of the Waltham schools.
"There is a broader age range at (the Fitzgerald School)," said LaRoche. "I believe in a continuity of service to the students and (Fitzgerald) is Kindergarten through fifth grade."
LaRoche admitted he was not a proponent of the realighment of the Tewksbury Schools this past year, when Dewing was cut to grades K-2.
LaRoche also cited Waltham's depth of administrative leaership as another thing that attracted him to the district.
"We have over 500 students (at Dewing) and I'm the only administrator in the building," he said. "That can be (challenging)."
O'Connor said a timetable for hiring a successor for LaRoche at Dewing has not yet been established. He said meetings will be held over the next few days to outline the hiring process to be used.
(Editor Bill Gilman contributed to this story.)