After nine years in Fullerton Joint Union High School District's top job, Supt. J. Kenneth Jones announced this week that he will retire in June.
Jones, hired 14 years ago as a deputy superintendent and promoted to his current position in 1987, plans to work part time as executive director for the applied technology center in management services for School Research and Services Corp. in Mission Viejo.
During the superintendent's tenure, five of the district's six high schools were recognized as California Distinguished Schools, the highest honor bestowed by the state, and La Habra High School was selected as a Blue Ribbon School, the nation's top award for public high schools.
Jones, who manages the 11,000-student district, also is credited with overseeing the creation of three state-recognized magnet programs at Buena Park, La Habra and Troy high schools and several popular academies at the district's other high schools.
Jones "has been a fantastic superintendent and leader and fine mentor," said Ron Anderson, assistant to the superintendent. "He will be very difficult to replace because he's leaving a wonderful legacy."
Trustees are planning to hold several meetings with employees, students, parents and anyone interested to receive input over the criteria they will use to hire Jones' successor.
Applications will be accepted through Jan. 31. Interviews will begin in mid-March, and the new superintendent will begin work July 1, Anderson said.