Denman to delay retirement one year to ensure smooth transition

DANVILLE — The Danville school board won't be searching for a new district chief as soon as it had anticipated.

At the request of the board, Superintendent Mark Denman agreed to postpone his retirement, scheduled for June 30, 2014, for a year.

Board President Bill Dobbles made the announcement shortly before the board approved extending Denman's contract to June 30, 2015.

"There are some board members who would like him to be superintendent for the next 20 years," Dobbles said, adding Denman has done an excellent job. "And there are probably some people in the community who thought he'd never retire."

Dobbles said board members had been urging Denman to stay on longer since the superintendent put in for retirement last July "because of all of the changes we are having in the district."

In addition to bringing in a new associate superintendent, — Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat — and new principal for Danville High School — Phil Cox — the district will also have a new human resources director, educational support programming director, principal for Northeast Elementary Magnet School and assistant principal at Danville High (to replace Cox) come July 1.

The current administrators are retiring at the end of the school year, along with a large number of teachers.

Denman said he's honored that the board would ask him to stay on to help ensure a smooth leadership transition.

"The district means a great deal to me," said Denman, who grew up in the district and has worked for it since 1975. His parents and other relatives also were longtime educators in the district. "I look forward to the opportunity to work here one more year."

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