The Tempe Union High School District will start the search for a new superintendent this month after Steve Adolph announced his retirement late last week.
Adolph, 54, has served at the helm of the district since July 2007. Prior to that he served the district as an administrator in several capacities: associate superintendent, principal and assistant principal.
On Dec. 15 the board will hold an executive session to get legal advice on the process of finding a new superintendent.
Board member Zita Johnson is confident there will be many strong candidates for the job.
“There is a lot going on (with education) that makes it a different kind of challenge than we’ve had before,” Johnson said. “Since I’ve been on the board we’ve had a couple of superintendent searches and they were very challenging for a variety of reasons. This, too, will be challenging. I feel our district is so outstanding that there will certainly be serious interest in the position from very qualified people.”
Adolph’s retirement is effective June 30. He said he is looking forward to having more time with his wife, children and grandchildren. They all reside close to each another in Queen Creek, where Adolph moved about a year ago.
“This is a family decision. … What the future holds I don’t know. I’ll have my ears and eyes and heart open. I don’t have any real plans at this time, just more quality time with the family,” he told the Tribune. “I love this place. I love the district. I love the people. It’s like my family here.”
Adolph had one more year on his contract but said through lots of prayer and thought, he and his wife, Renee, decided it was time.
“It’s the only job I’ve had where it’s the last thing I think of when I go to bed and first thing I think of when I wake up,” he said.
Adolph has spent 33 years as an educator, the last 30 in the Tempe Union High School District. He is a graduate of Marcos de Niza High School, where he met his wife.
“Whatever I do I’ll be open to helping anyway I can here. Any help they need. I want to help make the transition a smooth easy one for the board and for the district,” he said.
The final decision on the new superintendent will be made with a new board member next year. Board president Robin Arredondo-Savage’s term ends at the end of the month. Newly elected member David Schapira starts in January.