Jim Thorpe Area School Superintendent Barbara Conway announced Monday that she plans to retire on June 30, the end of the school year.
Conway, now 62, joined the school district as elementary school principal two weeks before the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America. She was named superintendent in 2007.
Since then, the district has become a cradle-to-college education system: The nationally-recognized SHINE afterschool program has its roots there, and the district now looks forward to becoming home to Lehigh Carbon Community College's Carbon County campus.
"We're just continuing to move. We're never sitting still," Conway said in a telephone interview early Tuesday.
She demurs when the district's accomplishments during her tenure are listed.
"I've had some good co-pilots through this," she said.
Now, Conway will keep busy, getting everything ready for a seamless transition for the next superintendent.
"I'm not one of those people counting the days. I have a lot to do," she said.
What does Conway, who has spent 41 years as an educator, plan to do in retirement?
Teach, of course.
"I have a part-time offer at a university, teaching graduate students,' she said. "That will be something I can enjoy while keeping in the educational field."
She also plans to become more involved in civic activities in her home community of Hazleton.
Conway describes her retirement as bittersweet.
"Jim Thorpe is a good school district. We've built up a solid educational system here. I don't think we'll have a lack of applications for the superintendent's position," she said." We've really done a lot, and I'm proud of what we've accomplished."
She announced her plans at a public school board meeting Monday.
"I have been blessed to work with a great school board and staff. I'm looking forward to new challenges and spending time with family," she said.
The board thanked Conway for her service to the district, and wished her well.
In other matters, the board approved spending $198,335 from the district's capital projects account to fix the office roof. It also agreed to reorganize on Dec. 3.
Correspondent Heather Bacsick contributed to this report.