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Veteran North Adams educator and current Superintendent of Schools Dr. Wylie Sirk has announced his retirement, effective July 1.
Sirk, who this summer will have completed 36 years in the education field — 19 of them at North Adams Community Schools — submitted his letter of resignation to the North Adams school board Tuesday evening.
"I've been prayerfully considering this for the last six months, and the time is right to end this portion of my career," the superintendent said.
"My 19 years at North Adams have been extremely rewarding," Sirk continued. "It's been a privilege to work with so many hard-working professionals who care deeply about our children. I have very much appreciated the Decatur community, and I thank you very much."
Sirk said he plans to spend more time with his family and pursue other endeavors.
"You've been the right person at the right time for us here at North Adams," said board president Tim Ehlerding. "Whatever it is you choose to do in the future, I'm certain you'll be very good at it. I wish you well, and thank you for your time."
Board member Ben Faurote told Dr. Sirk, "You have put us in a very good position to excel in the future."
Sirk was hired in June of 2007 to replace retiring superintendent Jim Compton.
He began his career in education in 1978 as a teacher in Jefferson Center School in Whitley County. In 1984 he took over as principal there before assuming a similar job at Westlawn Elementary School in Jay County.
In 1991 he came to the North Adams school district as principal at Monmouth Elementary, a position he held for two years before taking a year to attend Purdue University in Fort Wayne.
He returned to North Adams in the fall of 1994 as a middle school science, language arts and reading teacher before moving on to a two-year stint as principal of Meadowbrook Elementary School in New Haven.
Upon returning to North Adams, he served as principal at Southeast Elementary School from 1998-2007. In 2006 he served as the school district's director of curriculum and professional development in addition to his principal duties.
Sirk was one of two candidates interviewed by the school board for the position and one of four applicants for the superintendent's job vacancy earlier in 2007 when Compton announced his intent to retire after 11 years at the helm of the local school district.
Sirk earned his bachelor of science, masters and graduate degrees in education from Indiana University, and recently earned his doctorate degree in educational leadership from Purdue University.
A former member of the U.S. Naval Reserves, Sirk is a board member of the United Way of Adams County, the Adams County Leadership Academy, 4Community organization, North Adams Art Council and Indiana-Purdue at Fort Wayne Education Alumni.
He and his wife Jeannie reside at 104 Lake Court. They are the parents of three children.