Hastings Superintendent Tim Collins intends to retire at the end of the year.
His decision to retire comes after he had withdrawn a previous retirement decision in June. Collins has been with the district since 2003, but in the last year the district and he had faced some scrutiny for its handling of several events.
Collins could not be immediately reached for comment on Friday.
His decision was first reported by Hastings radio station KDWA and confirmed by the Star Gazette. KDWA cited a memo Collins sent to district staff on Friday.
Hastings School Board Chair Scott Gergen said board members were informed of the decision on Monday and that he wasn't surprised by it.
"I'm not surprised by the result, there's been a lot of negativity," he said. "At a certain point I knew he would have enough, where he says this is no longer good for himself, for the district, or good for the community."
The school board will likely have to hire an interim superintendent after Collins retires, Gergen said. He expected the search for the new, permanent superintendent to stretch into 2020.
The search will include the opportunity for community feedback, something he said community members have pushed for.
"This is the chance, I'm really looking forward to the community stepping up and making their voices heard in what they would like in a new superintendent," Gergen said.
In Collins's Friday memo he wrote, that "this timing is important for me and for the district."
"I have a great degree of price in all the Hastings School District has accomplished since 2003 and I remain excited about projects we have underway," he wrote.
It continued: "Of all the things that have changed in this district during my time as superintendent, two things have never wavered: 1) We have a community that cares about and supports our educational system. 2) We have staff that cares about students and goes the extra mile every time to support students and each other. That has made it a pleasure to serve the Hastings School District."
The retirement decision bookends a high-profile year for the district. In November, Josh McLay, an assistant principal for the district and its head wrestling coach, was discovered to have allegedly used donated district funds to attend college football games.
Board members and McLay came to an agreement to retain him, though he would be demoted to a teaching position and removed from coaching at the end of the school year. McLay is facing criminal charges and a jury trial is set for Jan. 2020.
The district also came under criticism for not renewing the contract of a well-liked elementary school teacher in April.
Throughout roughly the same timeframe though, Collins oversaw the district as it began two major projects — the renovation of Todd Field and improvements at the district's middle and high schools.
Those projects were funded by an almost $50 million bond that Hastings residents approved in November 2017.
Collins had previously announced his plans to retire in May, with hopes of being rehired. There was some community pushback though and some pushed for the district to pursue new leadership.
About two weeks after that announcement, he withdrew his intent to retire. However, some community members still hoped to find a new superintendent.
Board members received a letter detailing two instances where Collins allowed his superintendent license to lapse. After a legal review of the situation though, board members took no action.
Gergen said he was "looking forward to what's next."
"I'm not interested in rehashing, the events of the last year. I'm looking forward to engaging the community, engaging with my other board members."