After a decade on the job, Superintendent Gary Mical announced his retirement from Wheeling Township Elementary District 21 on Thursday, effective June 30.
The district's new superintendent will be Kate Hyland, District 21's associate superintendent for curriculum and learning.
Mical has spent 38 years in education in the Chicago suburbs and 20 years as a superintendent, with 10 years as superintendent at Fremont Elementary District 79 before coming to District 21.
Mical led District 21 through redistricting, a successful tax increase campaign and staff contract negotiations.
"District 21 has been a huge part of my life and the best place I've ever worked," Mical said. "I just decided it was time to give someone else a crack at it."
Hyland will officially become superintendent July 1 and be paid $190,000.
Mical's outgoing salary was $261,439. He said he has not filed his paperwork yet with the Teachers' Retirement System so he doesn't know how much of a pension he will receive after retiring. The TRS said it does not release pension information until the person formally retires.
"He has been a superb superintendent," said board member Arlen Gould. "He was a great educational leader and brought in a terrific team of staff to work with him. He has been a very dynamic leader for our district and we're sad to see him retire."
Gould added the board has full confidence in Hyland and that there will be a smooth transition between leaders.
"She will be excellent, she knows our district," Gould said. "She is a very capable individual and has worked with Dr. Mical so I don't expect that we'll miss a beat."
Hyland came to the district in 2003 as the director of program evaluation before becoming associate superintendent. She has 27 years of experience in education, 16 of which are in administration.
"It's an honor to lead this district and I'm looking forward to the challenge," said Hyland, adding she'll have large shoes to fill.
Hyland said she will focus on continuing to improve student achievement and creating inclusive classrooms for all students in the district. Mical, 61, said he has been considering retirement for a few years, but announcing it on Thursday was still difficult.
"The thing that stands out the most are the people," he said. "That's the thing I'll always remember."