Panther Valley School District Superintendent Rosemary Porembo on Thursday announced she will retire when classes end in June.

The school district hired Porembo in 1977 to teach elementary school. She advanced some years later to the office of principal, and then on to superintendent.

In 2004, the Drug Abuse Resistance Education Officers Association named Porembo Pennsylvania Educator of the Year. Nominated by Nesquehoning Police Chief Sean Smith, a DARE officer, she competed with six others for the honor.

"In her position as principal, Mrs. Rosemary Porembo was always promoting the DARE program by continually contacting and meeting with the officers from the first day of the new school year starting in August to the last day of school in June," Smith wrote in his nomination essay.

Porembo was hired as superintendent in June 2007 to replace J. Christopher West, who left to take a job with Educare. Porembo served as acting superintendent, stepping into the official position on Aug. 8, 2007.

As superintendent, Porembo led the district through difficult times, including the controversial move earlier this year to furlough six educators.

"I love the school district, and now it is my time to retire and move on to do some personal things that I want to do," she said after the public school board meeting Thursday. "It was very rewarding and enjoyable. I have a great administrative staff and I enjoyed working with the board."

Board President Jeff Markovich said a committee would be organized to work toward hiring a new superintendent. This year, the job paid $107,120.