After more than six years with Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 and more than 45 years in education, Superintendent Sarah Jerome announced her retirement on Thursday night.
Jerome, 67, on Thursday submitted her letter of retirement to the District 25 school board effective June 30, 2014, at the end of her current contract extension.
"While this may seem early anticipation of passing the baton, the selection of a superintendent is best done in a thoughtful and reflective process, which includes some important and time consuming steps," Jerome wrote in a letter to the district staff on Friday.
The process to replace Jerome will begin next month, when the school board will select a search firm and host listening sessions for staffers, parents and community members to discuss the qualities they would like in the next superintendent, according to Jerome's letter.
Jerome came to the district in 2006. Previously she had been superintendent of the Kettle Moraine School District in Wales, Wis., a suburban Milwaukee community, for 15 years. In 2005, Jerome was named the Wisconsin Superintendent of the Year. She was also previously an assistant superintendent in Rockford.
Her first District 25 contract was for five years. As part of her two-year extension granted in December 2011, Jerome agreed to have her annual salary remain at $228,655 in exchange for five additional days of vacation.
At that time, Jerome said she wanted to see through the implementation of common core standards in the district and the changing of the Illinois Standards Achievement Tests or ISATs.
Jerome attended college at Greensboro College in Greensboro, N.C. She also has graduate degrees from Duke University.
Jerome said she is proud of many accomplishments during her time at District 25, including developing new assessments and student report cards, focusing on global citizenship including through expanding the world languages program, and installing air conditioning at the district's nine schools.
"I am forever grateful to have served as an educator in North Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin and Illinois since 1967 and I look forward to continued commitment to Arlington Heights School District 25 until that precious baton is passed," she wrote. "It is work that I have loved, partnerships that I cherish, and relationships that have given my life meaning."