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Kent ISD Superintendent Announces Retirement

Kent ISD Superintendent Kevin A. Konarska recently announced his plan to retire at the end of the current school year.

Konarska led Kent ISD through a period of change, extending student programming and business services to member districts as their leaders struggled through the great recession and revenue reductions from the state.

“It will be very hard to see Kevin leave,” said Board President Claudia Bajema. “He has made such a difference in the schools we serve and in the opportunities available to the more than 100,000 students throughout our service region.

“We have opened new programs to meet specific student needs, a laboratory school to serve students, teachers and administrators, and we’ve become a statewide leader in instructional technology,” said Bajema, who served on the Grand Rapids Public Schools Board of Education before joining the Kent ISD School Board. “Kevin is humble, he’s kind and he’s caring. He’s one of the best educational leaders I’ve had the privilege of working with as a board member.”

“I’m very proud of the work we’ve done at Kent ISD, and I’m proud of the leadership we’ve developed within the organization,” Konarska said. “We expanded services to member districts even as we persevered through the greatest economic downturn of our lifetime. This is a great organization, and we have the privilege of serving strong school districts with exemplary leaders.”

Konarska has been in education for 35 years, beginning as a speech and language pathologist in the Grand Rapids Public Schools and later serving as an administrator in that district and Forest Hills before becoming the superintendent of the Thornapple Kellogg district.  He will begin his 9th year at Kent ISD in January. 

He said he is looking forward to having more flexibility in his schedule, the opportunity to spend more time with his adult children on the West Coast while also exploring education consulting opportunities.

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Official Media Release on Konarska’s Retirement

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Ron Koehler
Ron Koehler
Ron Koehler is the Kent ISD Assistant Superintendent and offers his commentary on issues in education. Read Ron's full bio

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