LOWELL — Debra Howe, superintendent of the Tri-Creek School Corporation, announced her retirement Thursday, with her final day to be July 1, so as to give the school board time to select her replacement.
Board President Doug Ward, while reluctant to accept her resignation, said, "You are leaving for one of the best reasons."
Howe said she wants to spend more time with her family, and the district deserves someone who can devote the time necessary. She will be taking family medical leave periodically after the first of the year, she said.
During her six-year tenure, Ward said Howe "took us from the 20th to the 21st century" and transformed the district.
Among Howe's achievements and initiatives cited:
— 1:1 computer technology for students
— Project-based Learning and New Tech instructional models
— Apple Distinguished Program status
— Re-establishment and growth of the Career and Technical Education program
— Significant improvement in the graduation rate
— Notable reduction in student expulsions through collaboration with the juvenile court system
— Installation of solar panel arrays estimated to save more than $250,000 in energy costs annually
Ward said the board will be contacting the consortium of universities in Indiana that helps identify candidates and administers the process.
In a prepared statement, Howe said, "This was an extremely difficult decision for me as I am so proud of how the district has progressed and all we've accomplished together. ... The faculty and staff at Tri-Creek are the greatest strength of the district and I know that they will continue to move the district forward, nurture the youth in our community, and to engage students in meaningful education as life-long learners. ... I am ready to pursue a new journey in my life where I can spend more time with my family and to continue service as a community leader in different ways."