December 18, 2009
John Blazek has resigned his position as principal of Maize South High School, effective immediately, the school district confirmed Friday.
A USD 266 spokeswoman says Blazek told district leaders Friday morning that he planned to take early retirement.
“He gave us the announcement this morning,” says Karen McDermott, Maize’s director of communications.
She says Blazek left Maize South Friday morning.
When reached on his cell phone, Blazek told the Wichita Business Journal that he is physically worn out and wants to spend more time with his family. He says long hours on the job — often from around 6 a.m. to after 9 p.m. — took its toll.
“I was just physically worn out,” he says. “I’m just exhausted.”
Blazek, who was traveling Friday afternoon, met with Maize Superintendent Doug Powers Thursday about his decision to retire. The two met briefly again Friday morning before the rest of the district was informed.
“This was my own choice at this time,” Blazek says.
However, Blazek says, the decision was not easy. He’s been considering retiring for the past two months, but didn’t tell anyone until Thursday.
“It’s been a tough decision,” Blazek says. “If I made my decision emotionally I would still be there.”
He spent the past year getting ready for the opening of Maize South high School, which opened this fall as a 4A school.
The announcement caught the district by surprise, McDermott says. It is working on a plan to fill the position in the interim. Friday is the district’s last day before the holiday break.
As for the timing of his decision, Blazek says he had to decide before Jan. 1 to be able to take early retirement. He knew he was going to be traveling and wouldn’t be able to inform Powers of his decision in person after Friday.
McDermott says she cannot disclose the reasons Blazek cited for his departure because it is a personnel matter.
Following Blazek’s sudden departure, a district wide e-mail was sent to teachers and administrators. Maize South parents also were notified.
McDermott says Powers plans to meet Friday afternoon with members of the Maize South staff to discuss the situation.
Maize South High School opened this fall. The former Maize South Middle School building was retrofitted to be a high school as part of the district’s plan to open a south campus. The project, as well as several others throughout the district, are being funded through a $58 million bond voters approved in fall 2007.