Dear Maroa-Forsyth Families & Community,
The "Last Dance Bulls Documentary" got most of us through the first few weeks of COVID 2020. Well, that theme continues in 2020 as it is with a heavy heart and mixed emotions that I announce my "Last Dance" and my intent to retire at the end of the 2020-21 school year. I had informed the School Board and staff of my intentions at the end of September and now feel this is a good time to announce it directly to you as parents and community members as the Board has an approved process to select the next superintendent and they need your help. Before I get to how you can help, I want to share my thoughts with you.
When I took the position back in 2017 I knew my retirement eligibility date was June 30, 2021. My intentions back then were to work a few years past that date depending on a number of variables. Well, it is the understatement of a lifetime to tell you our world has changed in the last eight months causing me to search deep and re-evaluate my intentions related to commitments to my family, my health, and my happiness. I cannot believe how quickly 33 years have gone by...I know when you are in the middle of a career no one says that and then all of a sudden the end sneaks up on you. I have been very fortunate to have served four school districts over those years; 6 as a teacher, 13 as a principal, and 14 as a superintendent. The relationships formed here at Maroa-Forsyth over the past few years I will always cherish and I will miss everyone very much.
I am excited about the next chapter in my life because I am not retiring from working. I look forward to using my God given abilities in another capacity continuing to serve students, teachers, parents, and communities as that is my passion. I am even more excited for the future of Maroa-Forsyth Schools. I was taught growing up to always leave a place better than you found it. I think much has been accomplished since 2017 and it has been a true team effort. There is a lot to build on moving forward. I have always taken the position that the most important aspect of my job is to drive culture. It was my intention and it is my hope that I have elevated the Maroa-Forsyth School District to new heights relating to a positive culture that has energized & encouraged, that has fostered connected relationships & great teamwork, and that has empowered & enabled people to learn and grow. My goals moving forward this year are: to write a transition plan to set the next superintendent up for success; to help all of us manage COVID; to facilitate the next steps toward a successful new Middle School; and to faithfully serve all of you in whatever challenges present themselves until my final day on June 30, 2021.
And now, for how you can help in selecting the next superintendent. The selection of a new superintendent is probably the most important decision a board of education has to make; therefore, the Board has hired the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) to assist in this process. The Board of Education is seeking everyone’s input in the search process. The Board requests that all parents and community members complete an online survey provided by the IASB. The results will be tallied and used by the Board and Screening Team to develop a brochure to advertise the position.
The survey can be accessed at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YJK7PXN The survey deadline is: November 10, 2020 at 11:45 p.m. Thank you for taking time to complete the survey.
In closing, I want to thank the three school boards (the one that hired me, the one in my first 2 years, and the one in my last 2 years) I have worked with since 2017 for the opportunity to serve you as superintendent. It has truly been an honor and I am so proud to be a part of this outstanding school district and wonderful communities.
With humility, blessings, and thanks,
Dr. John Mark Ahlemeyer
Superintendent of Schools