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Whitnall school chief will bow out in 2010

This time, board accepts retirement

Aug. 11, 2009

Greenfield — Karen Petric will retire as Whitnall School District superintendent at the end of the 2009-10 school year, concluding a 10-year tenure.

Petric will step down in June 2010, a full year before the expiration of her current contract. The School Board accepted her retirement notice Monday.

"Knowing the district has good administrators who are instructional leaders, I am confident the district will continue to move forward with its strategic plan and corollary goals and initiatives," she said in a statement.

Beginning a search

School Board President Bill Osterndorf said in the news release that discussions about a search for a new superintendent will begin when the board meets Aug. 24.

"We want to thank Karen for the many contributions she has made to the district," Osterndorf said, "and we look forward to working with her as we begin the search for a new superintendent."

Second retirement attempt

Petric's years of leading the Whitnall School District, which serves about 2,400 students from Hales Corners and portions of Greenfield and Franklin, were not without controversy.

Petric, 56, made headlines in December 2007 when she tried to retire before the end of her contract and sought an early retirement package valued at nearly $230,000.

At the time, she said she was concerned about her safety because of incidents involving a former Whitnall employee. She later rescinded her request.

The board this week did not discuss terms of her pending retirement.

Kudos too

A Whitnall School District news release touted limited tax increases, her implementation of a strategic plan that focused on academic rigor and upgrading building efficiencies without a referendum.

She also received praise earlier this summer when she refused a salary increase for the 2009-10 school year to help the district give raises to other administrators.

Prior to coming to Whitnall, Petric was superintendent of the North Lake School District in Waukesha County. She took over at Whitnall in 2000, replacing Peter Alvino.

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