Ken Ranella, superintendent of the Menlo Park City School District, will retire effective June 30, he announced in an e-mail to the school community Wednesday night.
He said that following nine years as superintendent here, 20 years a superintendent in three districts, and 36 years as an educator in public schools, "it is my time to retire."
He said he would submit a resignation letter to the school board for action at its Jan. 11 meeting.
Below is the rest of his message:
"It has been a fulfilling professional journey for me, culminating in service to the students and communities of Menlo Park and Atherton for most of the last decade. Upon my appointment in 2002, the most poignant question was, What are the next steps for quality in the District? Hopefully that question has been addressed during my tenure as we accommodated a growing student enrollment, designed and built 21st Century facilities, developed the finances to weather a volatile California economy, employed outstanding professional educators and staff at all levels of the organization, initiated important educational programs, and maintained the support of the public and the extraordinary participation of parents. Most importantly, I strongly believe that I will leave a culture that is committed to ongoing continuous improvement of all aspects of the District.
"Yes, it is my time, time to consider other personal and professional pursuits, time to explore myself outside of my long-term professional role and most importantly unencumbered time to fully engage with Ginny, my wife and best friend for over thirty-five years.
"The Board of Education has been aware of my decision and has been preparing for the transition. Three superintendent-search consulting firms have been identified, and the Board will schedule January 18 for a Special Board Meeting to review proposals and interview and select one of these firms. The Board anticipates that the selected advisors will engage the staff and Community in identifying the professional attributes and qualities of leadership for the next superintendent. The Board will also keep the School Community apprised during the recruitment and selection process, which should conclude in early spring.
"As for me during the next six months, I intend to fully enjoy and appreciate each and every day of my remaining professional career as the Superintendent of an outstanding School District comprised of committed professional educators and staff members, supportive and active parents, capable members of the Board of Education, and students with unlimited potential."