Tuesday's horror at Oxford High presents a final leadership test for Superintendent Tim Throne, a former business executive who switched to education 25 years ago.
Gunfire that killed four students and wounded seven others came about five weeks before his planned retirement from the district he joined in August 2000 as technology director. Throne, 54, became eligible for pension benefits last year but chose to stay amid pandemic challenges.
This fall, after over six years in the top job at Oxford Community Schools, the superintendent told its seven-member board that he'd leave in early January. The Flint-based Michigan Leadership Institute is hired to find and screen candidates to succeed Throne.
The administrator's current salary is $210,867, according to his 2019 contract. In an Oct. 12 "important announcement" of his decision, Throne alluded to the Covid waves rocking Oxford schools since March 2020:
The past couple of years have seemed like dog years as far as work goes. Said another way, it has been like a calling a snow day every day, again and again. I am not retiring because of the last 19 months, but, if I am completely honest with you, it has certainly sped up my timeline. ...
I could not be more proud of what we have accomplished.
There's no word on whether this week's tragedy in the northern Oakland County district affects his departure timing.
"Other opportunities" may be explored, indicates Throne, who says he's also "looking forward to spending time with my family and friends. ... I am especially looking forward to making new memories with my three grandchildren, my children, and my parents who are all out of state."
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