NEWARK — Connie Spinnato, who was named principal of Newark Memorial High School earlier this school year, has decided to retire, officials said.

Spinnato, 54, joined the school district in August and became the school's third principal in five years.

Now officials are preparing to post the open position next week and accept applications for about three weeks, said Tim Erwin, director of human resources for the Newark Unified School District. District officials hope find a viable candidate and present him or her to the school board during a July 21 meeting.

"Connie notified her staff on Friday that she will resigning," Erwin said, adding that Spinnato said she would be retiring.

Spinnato's departure is the second among high school principals in the Tri-City area within recent months.

In March, James Logan High School Principal Judy Billingsley announced her retirement plans after just one year at the Union City school.

Spinnato, whose resignation is effective June 30, is completing her 21st year in education.

Before Newark Memorial, she spent nine years at Mt. Eden High School in Hayward, where she was a physical education teacher, former coach of the girls basketball team and assistant principal.

Reach Ben Aguirre Jr. at 510-353-7011 or baguirre@bayareanewsgroup.com. Read his blog at www.ibabuzz.com/tricitybeat.