The superintendent of the Oak Park Unified School District, who recently received a state award for her efforts in improving school curriculum development, has announced that she will resign this fall.
Susan Hearn, 52, told the school board earlier this week that she will step down Sept. 4. Hearn has spent four years overseeing the 1,965-student district.
"The reason for my resigning is to devote myself to my health, my husband, my children and my grandchildren," Hearn said. "This is just a very stressful job, and I've been struggling with my blood pressure." However, health was not the primary reason for her decision, she said.
Hearn said she works an average of 60 to 70 hours a week year-round.
She plans to slow the pace of her life by buying a boat with her husband and spending seven months each year cruising the seas off Washington, Canada and Alaska.
The couple, who have five children and six grandchildren, will spend the rest of the year at their Westlake Village home, Hearn said.
Hearn was honored earlier this year by the California School Leadership Academy, which trains school administrators for the state Department of Education, for her efforts in teaching administrators to restructure curriculums so that students take a more active part in classroom learning.
During her tenure at Oak Park, enrollments grew by 25%. The district also has settled on plans for a new elementary school and new middle school to accommodate the growing number of students. Also, Oak Hills Elementary School and Medea Creek Middle School received state recognition for academic excellence.
Hearn said the board plans immediately to hire a consultant to search for her successor.