Titusville sees Karen Jez off - Titusville Herald: News

Titusville sees Karen Jez off

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Posted: Friday, May 31, 2019 5:00 am

Titusville Area School District staff and members of the community came together Thursday to see outgoing Superintendent Karen Jez off before her retirement.

A reception was held at Titusville High School, which allowed many people to congratulate Jez on her 13 years of service to the district. Jez will retire on June 30, with Director of Federal Programs, Curriculum and Learning Stephanie Keebler poised to take over the role.

Business Manager Shawn Sampson highlighted Jez’s commitment to the district, strong work ethic and the positive effects she had on others in a brief speech given at the reception.

“I can tell you, for me, personally, I think it was an inspiration to work for somebody like that,” Sampson said. “It makes you push yourself, it makes you want to do better, work harder, do a better job and I think everybody tried to do that when they worked for Karen because they saw she was doing that.”

The school’s administration, whom Jez said she affectionally refers to as the “Scheide House Gang,” presented the outgoing superintendent with a framed piece of artwork that highlighted some of her many achievements and aspects of her life. Sampson noted in his speech that the picture wasn’t large enough to possibly encapsulate everything Jez had done.

As for the superintendent herself, Jez found it difficult to give a proper response to the many people who showed up to support her.

“I don’t think I have words to express all of my gratitude and appreciation for each and every one of you and how you’ve touched my life personally, but also the commitment we have as a district toward our students and our community, and that’s what it’s all about,” she said. “Education is for the kids, and if we keep that as the forefront of our decisions, we should never, ever go wrong.”

After retirement, Jez said that she wants to spend some time traveling, listing Austin, Texas and the continental divide at Wyoming among some of her planned destinations. However, she isn’t quite ready to fully step back from educating after more than 30 years in the career, and said that she hopes to do something working with kids in the future, though she hasn’t figured out what exactly yet.

First, she’ll have to get through what little remains of the school year, including presiding over her last graduation next Friday.

“It’s going to be difficult, I think, because this class, I saw when they were four year olds, and now, I’m going to see them graduating,” Jez told The Herald.

In fact, Jez described the whole retirement process as being a mixture of sadness over stepping down after so long, and happiness for the chance to relax.

“I would have to define it as melancholy,” Jez said when asked how she felt about retiring. “I know it’s the right decision personally, but I’m definitely going to miss it.”

The feeling appeared to be mutual for many of the staff members who worked under Jez as they gave their well wishes. Jane McNierney, Jez’s secretary for the past five years, called her “the best boss I’ve had in my entire career” and said that she was sad to see her go.

Jez first got involved in education as a substitute teacher after graduating from Edinboro University and Westminster College. She was later hired as an art teacher at Franklin School District, and then at Rocky Grove High School.

She joined the Titusville Area School District in 1996 when she was hired as an assistant principal at Titusville Middle School, becoming principal in 1998. She oversaw construction of the new middle school in 1999, something which Jez described as among her proudest achievements in a Nov. 12 interview with The Herald.

She became the district’s superintendent in 2006 after serving some time as the assistant superintendent, staying with the role ever since. She announced her retirement in November. Keebler was appointed as her replacement on May 2 in a special meeting of the Titusville Area School Board.

Ray can be reached, by email, at sray@titusvilleherald.com.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Noahs Bark posted at 9:42 pm on Fri, May 31, 2019.

    Noahs Bark Posts: 118

    I applaud Karen Jez. She’s worked very hard to finish the right way. I’m sure she’s both tired, elated and ticked. Good for her!

  • Jahoba posted at 1:10 pm on Fri, May 31, 2019.

    Jahoba Posts: 240

    Well, it is nice to Jez off. Have a good time and slow down to make it last longer.


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