After more than a decade serving DuPage High School District 88, Superintendent Steve Humphrey will retire at the end of the coming school year.
When he steps down on June 30, 2012, Humphrey will say goodbye to about 4,100 students served by Addison Trail and Willowbrook high schools.
Humphrey, who started his career in 1970 as a social studies teacher in downstate Illinois, said his love for government served him while leading District 88.
"Like government, the most important key is to collaborate and build partnerships," he said.
Those partnerships, such as working with Addison Center for the Arts on student programs and the Village of Addison on business initiatives, are some accomplishments that make Humphrey most proud when he looks back on his time in District 88.
He said helping shepherd the $115 million Building the Future project which dominated five years of his tenure and dramatically modernized both high schools is also a point of pride.
"We are always focusing on the classroom, focusing on student success and preparing them for the future. And not just with the renovations, but even with our learning initiatives," Humphrey said. "I enjoyed my high school years and know how powerful that connection between students and teachers can be."
For the 2010-2011 school year, Humphrey will receive his base salary of $235,153 according to the district. In retirement, he will earn roughly $190,000, an amount based on estimated Teacher Retirement System calculations.
Humphrey will not receive any medical benefits after stepping down.
He said he's uncertain what he'll do in retirement, but hopes to get involved with a service organization that can use his expertise.
The school board this fall approved a transition plan to replace Humphrey, which will begin when the board names a superintendent from the current staff in District 88.
Humphrey said he expects a smooth transition.
"This person will understand the philosophy we have of helping the kids be successful, working within budget constraints and continuing community partnerships," he said. "This is a big job and it takes time to learn the nuances."
The board officially will post the vacancy next month for the 2012-13 school year. Board members will then conduct meetings with staff, parents, students and the community in January to identify what qualities they want from the district's next leader.
Applicants will be interviewed in January and a final candidate tentatively is scheduled to be named by the Jan. 24 board meeting. That person will be appointed as assistant superintendent for administrative services immediately, then later named as superintendent on July 1, 2012.
"The idea is that things will be just seamless," Humphrey said.
A second search will then be launched to replace the post vacated by the new superintendent.