Glenbard High School District 87 Superintendent Michael Meissen has announced that this will be his final year as head of the state's third-largest school district.
Meissen told school board members at a board meeting Monday that he will serve out the remaining time on his contract, which expires June 30, 2012.
In an interview, Meissen declined to discuss why he's decided to move on, and referred to a district news release issued Monday.
He said he wants to continue to focus on implementation of the district's strategic plan during his remaining time at Glenbard.
A one-time Wisconsin High School Principal of the Year, Meissen started at District 87 in 2006. His original three-year contract was extended another three years in 2008 -- after Meissen applied for other superintendent jobs in and around Madison, where he is originally from.
At the time he said he considered leaving to be closer to family.
The announcement comes a year after the board approved a one-year contract extension for Meissen, which came with a 2 percent salary increase for the 2011-2012 school year. That means he is set to receive a $215,665 base salary this year.
School board members were informed of Meissen's decision when they received their board packets just days before Monday's meeting, according to board President Rich Heim.
"It always comes as a surprise," Heim said. "Clearly it is Mike's decision. We're still continuing to look forward to having him around to steer the district in the correct direction."
Heim said the board would immediately begin a search process for Meissen's successor.
It's still unclear if the district would employ a search firm to conduct a nationwide search, or do the work in house, but Heim said the board is expected to discuss next steps at its Sept. 12 meeting.
"We have a phenomenal district with a set of metrics where anyone would be proud to work," Heim said. "We have an opportunity to take the district even higher than it is today."
The board's intent is to have a full-time superintendent in place by July 1, 2012, Heim said.
The district statement released Monday night said Meissen would work with the board and Glenbard community "to achieve an effective and efficient transition to the new superintendent."
During his tenure at Glenbard, Meissen has overseen a move to a standardized curriculum at the district's four high schools, reinstatement of a seventh class period, and, last year, the district's first budget surplus in more than six years.
"Mike has provided some great leadership to the district," Heim said. "He's advanced student achievement, brought us back to the solvency position financially. He's committed to the education of students. He's really elevated the overall district."
Meissen has also led the administration's efforts to install artificial field turf at two school fields to increase usage. But a proposal to install lights at one of those fields -- Memorial Field at Glenbard West -- awaits a lengthy village approval process, and opposition from some Glen Ellyn residents.