Dozens of friends, family and colleagues gathered to honor Doug Hladek on his retirement as superintendent of the Jefferson Area Local Schools.
Hladek was the superintendent for the last seven years after working for the Ashtabula Area City Schools for 28 years.
“All of a sudden it’s hear and it’s a little bittersweet,” Hladek said reflecting on his 35 years of working with children, teachers and community leaders.
“I’ll miss all the people I worked with, especially the kids,” Hladek said while greeting people at the JALS district office building that house’s the superintendent’s office.
“You made it to retirement. Now all the fun begins,” joked Jonathan Freeman while greeting Hladek.
Jean Freeman, a former school board member of the JALS, said she appreciated Hladek’s balance in helping the district through it’s building program.
“I thought he had a nice balance between academics and administration,” she said. Freeman said it was also a challenge to do both while keeping an eye on the budget at the same time.
“I’m hoping we are going to do some traveling,” said Hladek’s wife Pat while taking pictures to remember the special day. She said she hopes there will be some time for grandchildren and home improvement projects.
Hladek said recent graduation ceremonies were special. “It (looking out at all the graduates he had known since sixth grade) was a great way to end my career as a superintendent,” he said.
Hladek said he will take some time off and then see if there are any opportunities that he might be interested in pursuing.