Superintendent Daisy Lee announced Tuesday that she is resigning from the Galt Joint Union High School District's top job after two years in the position to begin her retirement.
She was hired in December 2009, six months after former Superintendent Thomas Gemma resigned after four years on the job. Her annual salary is $154,000.
"I want the board and the community to know I have treasured the opportunities to serve the students," Lee said during her formal announcement at Tuesday's regular school board meeting.
In retirement, she is looking forward to babysitting her new granddaughter, who was born Dec. 11, 2011.
"As you can see, I will have a busy retirement. I very much enthusiastically look forward to my retirement," Lee told the board and audience members.
She also plans to continue volunteering her time at a Chinese school in the Sacramento area, and said she would provide support to Galt teachers credentialed in that language to help bring courses to Galt.
Board president Art Oelsner said it's been an absolute pleasure to work with Lee, whom he helped hire.
"I'm glad we have a few more months to work together," he said.
There was no discussion Tuesday on how the board will replace Lee.
She called it a "bittersweet pleasure" in making the announcement, especially after 30 years of working in the public school system. She has been a resource teacher, a classroom teacher and a principal at both elementary and high school levels.
Lee, who was an associate superintendent in Modesto before coming to Galt, was chosen as Galt's superintendent after an extensive search by an outside firm. She started in January 2010.
In an interview with the News-Sentinel shortly after she was hired, Lee said the size of Galt's district was a good match for her to be able to pay focused attention to teaching and learning in support of the work of the principals and teachers.
She also said she planned to help the Galt high schools achieve California distinguished school status, but that has not happened. Standardized test scores, however, have improved under her leadership.
The district's API of 771 last year showed a continued increase, up 17 points from the previous year. Estrellita Continuation High School saw a 98-point jump for an API of 631, while Galt and Liberty Ranch high schools earned scores of 756 and 797 respectively. Both were improvements over the previous year's scores, where Galt received a 742 and Liberty Ranch, 783.
At the time, Lee attributed the steady improvement to training for teachers on effective instruction. Under her direction, about 60 teachers received the training, followed by administrative support and regular classroom visits known as focus walks.
Recognizing the district's superintendent turnover rate, when she was hired Lee said she would stay as long as the board allowed her to, and as long as she was making a difference for the students of Galt.
"The tenure of a superintendent is important to bring stability," Lee said in 2009.
Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.