DRACUT -- Former Superintendent of Schools Elaine Espindle died Monday morning after her second bout with cancer, the school department confirmed.
Espindle served as superintendent from 1996 to 2007 and accepted an appointment as interim superintendent in 2009.
During her tenure, Espindle oversaw the construction of Lakeview Junior High School, where the library was named in her honor earlier this year.
At the Espindle Library dedication ceremony, school officials and other speakers celebrated her commitment to the district's students.
"She always reminded me that we are going to run this school system for the children and not for the adults," said Andrew Graham, the district's supervisor of buildings and grounds. "After a while you could see the results. We put students at Harvard, MIT, at West Point, the Air Force Academy, Brown University -- and the list goes on. She did that through her efforts and the people she hired."
Praising Espindle's ability to raise standards, School Committee Chairman Michael McNamara said he learned a lot from her in the short year or two they worked together.
"We can laugh now but those of us who worked with her know it wasn't always a party -- she was tough," said McNamara, former principal of the Greenmont Elementary School. "She was very tough. We're all better off for it."
Former Englesby Intermediate School Principal Robert Young described Espindle as driven and tenacious, an avid reader who was passionate about the language arts and their place in education.
"As longest serving principal during her time here in Dracut, I witnessed first-hand her hard work, dedication and commitment to seeing this building and especially this library become a shining star of this community," he said. "Whenever Elaine put her mind to something it was difficult to stand in her way."
According to the superintendent's office, the family has not yet announced the details of any memorial services.
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