ASPEN - Aspen Country Day School headmaster John Suitor will leave his post in May 2014 and retire from the private school altogether the following year.
"John has graciously given an early notification to assure a smooth transition," Country Day board president Lee Schumacher wrote in an email announcement Tuesday. "By the time he steps down, he will have more than tripled the tenure of any predecessors. The growth of the school under John's leadership has been deeply appreciated by all."
Suitor joined Country Day in April 1999. During his tenure, enrollment at the kindergarten-through-eighth-grade school more than doubled, construction of a new Castle Creek campus got under way, and an agreement with the Aspen Music School helped establish a permanent home for Country Day.
"My decision is bittersweet: bitter in the sense of stepping away from a school where I have spent some of the best years of my life. But looking forward is sweet, for I know my successor will come into a warm, welcoming, and supportive community, which will enable him/her to continue our constant pursuit of the best for each child entrusted to us," Suitor wrote in a letter to Country Day parents. "Indeed, schools are living organisms. New eyes, new ideas, new pedagogy, and new directions are necessary and good for a school while we serve as good stewards of our treasured traditions and history."
Suitor, who has the support of the board in his retirement plan, will step down as headmaster in May 2014. He will continue to serve as a "consultant/mentor" to the new headmaster through May 2015.
Tom Reagan, former president of the Aspen Country Day School board, is chairing a committee to select a search firm to assist in recruiting a new headmaster. According to Schumacher, the selection process will include input from administration, faculty, parents, students and alumni. Suitor's successor likely will be appointed next winter and take over the position in July 2014.