Centennials Rector resigns for health reasons

Search for interim school district leader begins
by: Contributed photo Steve Rector

Centennial School District Superintendent Steve Rector will resign June 30 for health reasons, the school board announced May 25.

Rector, who was hired eight months ago, has been battling cancer since March.

'Since my diagnosis in March and the first seven chemotherapy treatments, it has become evident that I will not be able to continue as your superintendent,' he said in his resignation letter.

In his short time with Centennial, Rector 'set a high bar for student performance,' the district said. 'He spearheaded the district's five- year non-negotiable academic goals, a framework for measuring student progress incrementally toward meeting specific targets.'

Rector's letter stated: 'It has been an honor and a great pleasure to serve as your superintendent this past eight months. Through the diligent efforts of many, a plan is in place to help improve student achievement despite anticipated reductions in revenue. My goal was to see this plan through for the next five to eight years. Circumstances beyond my control have changed that goal.'

Rector also tackled issues of equity, making sure that employees have high expectations for all students, regardless of race, ethnicity, income level or disability, the district said.

'We are committed to continuing the work he started, and will be looking for a leader who will push the district to achieve the lofty goals Steve helped established,' School Board Chairwoman Shar Giard said.

The board has launched a search for an interim superintendent, with the intent to have someone on board by July 1 for the 2011-12 school year. Human Resources Director Rich Shultz will remain as acting superintendent until an interim superintendent is hired. Shultz was named director-in-charge back in March, when Rector went on leave, and was named acting superintendent last month.

Board members plan to conduct a formal search for a permanent superintendent next year.

Rector expressed regret for putting the district in the position of having to replace its superintendent for two consecutive years.

'The one thing I take from this experience is the knowledge that this district cares about its students and strives to do the very best with the limited resources available,' he wrote. 'I am confident that this board will not settle for anything less than the best person to see the plan through.'