MONTCLAIR - As schools prepare to begin a new year, many familiar faces will be gone because of hundreds of layoffs and retirements.

For Ron Crawford, a teacher at Wayne Valley High School for 37 years, retirement seemed the only way to end his career on a happy note.

Crawford says that when he started noticing budgets getting cut and programs disappearing, he knew it was time to go.

?I thought, well, leave now before you get a bad or bitter taste,? Crawford says.

For now, Crawford says he plans on using the extra time to write his memoirs.