Patricia A. Ciccone, the superintendent of the state’s Vocational-Technical High School System, is leaving the system after more than a decade.

Ciccone will become the superintendent of Westbrook Public Schools in January. Her salary will be $152,000.

The vo-tech system has 17 schools serving 11,000 students.

Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor told legislators on the Higher Education, Education and Labor committees Thursday that the department is considering naming an interim superintendent while searching for Ciccone’s replacement. The State Board of Education and commissioner are responsible for appointing the next leader.

“Rest assured there will be continuity of leadership,” Pryor told legislators at the state Capitol complex.

Ciccone’s departure comes as the state heads into a tumultuous budget session to close a deficit as large as $1.2 billion. Last year, the system faced a major cut in funding that would have led to the system ending its sports programs.

“Thanks for hanging in there through all the trials and trepidations… You will be a tough act to follow,” Sen. Andrea Stillman, the co-chairwoman of the Education Committee, told Ciccone Thursday.

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