Stephen joins list of Cedar Rapids school district retirees

Executive administrator of instructional services steps aside after more than four decades in district

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After more than four decades in the Cedar Rapids Community School District, Sandy Stephen is saying goodbye.

The school board approved Stephen's retirement – as well as those of Kennedy High School Principal Mary Wilcynski, Johnson School of the Arts Principal Kevin Uhde and Washington High School Associate Principal Rick Williams -- during Monday's regular meeting.

"I think I'm really ready to see if I can have an impact on education from a different perspective," said Stephen, executive administrator of instructional services. "I think I'm ready to be on a different calendar than the school calendar."

Stephen began her time in the district as a biology and chemistry teacher at Washington High School. She's held a number of different positions in the district since then, including secondary and K-12 science facilitator, executive administrator for secondary schools and executive director for learning and leadership.

Stephen spoke with pride about what she and her colleagues have accomplished in what she called "a lighthouse district," naming the teacher leadership initiatives, professional learning communities and increased curriculum offerings as highlights.

Her resignation is effective June 30 and she said she is unaware of any plans or timeline involved in hiring her replacement. Stephen also alluded to the possibility that administrators may restructure her position.

Stephen does not have concrete plans for the future, but said she is doubtful that her next step will be with a school district.

"I'd like to have a broader impact," she said.

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