With many in tears, Dr. Stan Scheer gave his official resignation Thursday as superintendent of the Murrieta Valley Unified School District.
Scheer that he accepted a position to lead the Thompson School District in Loveland, Colo., near his hometown in Wyoming. The move will bring him closer to his family, including his siblings, children, grandchildren and aging mother.
He read his letter of resignation aloud, which is effective Oct. 1.
The board was scheduled to appoint an interim superintendent during its regularly scheduled meeting Thursday. Instead, School Board President Paul Diffley announced they would vote on appointing Deputy Superintendent Pat Kelley to the permanent post of superintendent during a meeting Sept. 27.
The board had met in closed session Thursday following a farewell reception for Scheer, during which they discussed an interim appointment versus a permanent one.
"This is a decision we are very comfortable with or we would not have made it," said Board Member Ken Dickson.
Dickson said putting off the vote until their next meeting allows the public a chance to weigh in.
"We have taken that step to make it clear to the public that they do have a say," Dickson said.
Kelley upon the retirement of Buck DeWeese.
Kelley has worked for Murrieta Valley Unified for 22 years, serving as principal at Rail Ranch and Buchanan elementary schools. Prior to that, he served as coordinator of child welfare and attendance and assistant principal. In July 2003, he was appointed director of human resources and in 2005 assistant superintendent of human resources.
"I am extremely honored, extremely grateful and extremely humbled," Kelley said, following the board's announcement.
"This district is an amazing place to work. We have no doubt we will have challenges...and we will get through those...but together with this community it is going to get handled," Kelley said.
He continued by saying the district "looks better than it ever has," thanks in large part to Scheer.
Scheer stopped short of taking all the credit.
"You are the gold standard of school boards," Scheer told the trustees.
"The students and the families in this district are second to none," he added.
Likewise, he gave credit to district administration and the teachers and support workers for getting the district through tough budget years.
"I have had the opportunity to be part of that, not necessarily on top of that," Scheer said.
Kathy Ericson, president of the Murrieta Teachers Association, said tearfully that she will miss Scheer.
"The good thing is the district is united and we have incredible staff in place," Ericson said.
Principals of the district's three high schools also said parting words.
Murrieta Mesa High School Principal Mary Walters thanked Scheer for "making Mesa possible," as it was built when there was state freeze on construction funding.
In attendance at the meeting was Riverside County Superintendent of Schools Kenn Young, who thanked Scheer for the care he took of Murrieta Valley Unified.
"We are sorry to see Superintendent Scheer leave the Murrieta district," Young said. "He has done an excellent job of providing leadership for the district in some very difficult financial times in the state and he'll be sorely missed."