Brandywine supt. to retire after next year

John Jarpe announced Monday he would retire as superintendent of Brandywine Community Schools at the end of next school year, bringing to an end a 10-year stint as the district’s leader.

“I just think it’s time,” said the 66-year-old educator. “I think we’ve accomplished a lot at Brandywine, but there comes a time when your career is ending. I wanted to give the board plenty of time to make their plans for the succession for the next superintendent, whomever it might be.”

Jarpe

Jarpe

The Brandywine school board has hired Gary Rider, former Brandywine superintendent and current regional president with the Michigan Leadership Institute, to assist in the superintendent search. Rider said more details about the search would be made available soon.

Jarpe, whose contract expires at the end of the 2016/17 school year, announced his plan to retire during Monday’s regular meeting of the school board. He said it was difficult to get the words out in a public setting.

“There weren’t any tears, but there will probably be some along the way,” he said. “It is a job I still love — I don’t mind getting up and going to work every single day.

“We still have work to do and things we want to accomplish at Brandywine. We can reminisce later.”

Jarpe has spent more than 40 years in education. After graduating from Niles High School in 1968, he taught in Detroit and at Lake Michigan Catholic before being hired to teach at Brandywine in the fall of 1978. He became assistant principal at Brandywine Elementary in 1986 and then left the district to work as an administrator at Saint Joseph Public Schools for 19 years.

He returned to Brandywine in June of 2007 when he was hired as superintendent.

Jarpe said he plans to stay connected to education in some way upon retiring, possibly becoming an adjunct professor at an institution of higher learning.

He also said he looks forward to spending more time with his three grandsons.

“I will have to stay busy, that’s for sure,” he said.

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