Keystone superintendent to step down on Jan. 29

Keystone School District Superintendent Shawn Algoe will step down from his position, effective Jan. 29.

Algoe, who has been with the district for 10 years – two as elementary school principal and eight as superintendent – said he has elected to pursue an opportunity outside of public education.

“I never wanted to serve as a superintendent anywhere else but Keystone,” Algoe said. “I’ve told people that all along, and I meant what I said.”

Algoe, who informed the members of the Keystone School Board and district staff of his decision last week, has offered to provide as much support as necessary to assist with the transition.

Board President John Slagle said Algoe’s resignation is a “great loss to the district and the community.”

Slagle, referring to an e-mail letter the superintendent sent to district staff, said Algoe offered his feelings eloquently.

“I’ve always told the staff a good leader knows when it’s time to step away,” Algoe said in the email letter. “I’ve been ‘all in’ with Keystone School District for nearly ten years. It’s been my privilege and honor to work with the people who comprise this wonderful district, but everything changes.”

In an e-mail to the Clarion News, Algoe said, “Change is scary, but it’s necessary in order to move forward. I used to tell people school administrators are filters – we do our best to filter out the nonsense (i.e. the changing mandates, the politics, the inequities) that may prevent our students and staff from reaching their fullest potential.

“Every so often, the filter needs to be changed. My time has come.”

While Algoe has been at the helm, Keystone has not raised real estate taxes for several years, has had several major renovation projects and paid off district debt obligations.

“He did an excellent job,” Slagle said. “Mr. Algoe always did his job with integrity.”

Algoe said the Keystone School District is “a special place, but people who live here should already know that.”

He expressed his gratitude to the board, staff and students for “believing in me and allowing me to serve with them for the last ten years. It’s been a good run. We celebrated many successes and achievements and endured many setbacks and tragedies – but we did it together.”

Algoe acknowledged the COVID-19 pandemic has made overseeing a school district a challenge unlike any other.

“The last year in particular has been difficult,” he said. “People are always passionate about their views and their feelings, especially as they relate to the pandemic. That said, that passion will also bring people back together as we work to re-establish our new normal post-COVID.

“During my tenure, I’ve seen the community pull together in unimaginable ways to celebrate successes and to help one another heal through times of sorrow and loss.

“Keystone School District is more than physical classrooms, athletic fields/courts, and performance stages – it’s a path forward to a better tomorrow. The people make it so.”

Slagle said board members will mull their options and move on with finding a new superintendent.

“I’m sad he (Algoe) is leaving,” Slagle said. “But we have to begin the process. I’ve got some ideas that might get us through. We’ll do what we have to do.”

The board is next scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. on Jan. 18.