Dist. 204 superintendent plans to retire in June 2020
Next academic year at Indian Prairie Unit District 204 will be the last for Superintendent Karen Sullivan, who has announced plans to retire when her contract expires in June 2020.
Sullivan has worked in the district for 22 years, the past five of which she spent serving in the top administrative role. She sent a districtwide email Tuesday notifying the community of her retirement plans after informing the school board Monday.
"When the time comes, I will leave this district with an abundance of memories of the amazing things our students have achieved and the tremendous support shown from our parents and community," Sullivan said in the email. "I will also be forever grateful for the outstanding work done by our staff each day to support our students."
Under her leadership, Sullivan said, the district has explored the use of technology in education and focused on social emotional learning to build resiliency in students and better prepare them for the future. Indian Prairie leaders also advocated for fair and equitable funding in Springfield, and students set various records in achievement and testing.
"I look forward to continuing the momentum with you through next year," she said in the email.
After serving as assistant superintendent of human resources for three years, Sullivan was chosen out of a national field of about 60 applicants to succeed retiring Superintendent Kathy Birkett in 2014. Two years later, the school board decided to extend her three-year contract another three years.
According to that deal, Sullivan's salary was set at $248,734.49 for July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017, with planned increases of 2 percent each following year. Based on 23 years of service to the district, the contract grants her a one-time lump sum payment of roughly $26,000 the January after her retirement.
Sullivan has 14 years of special education and school leadership experience in District 204. She also spent three years as a curriculum and instruction administrator in Elmhurst Unit District 205.
She received her bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Illinois in speech and hearing science and speech/language pathology, as well as a doctoral degree from Lewis University in educational leadership.