Wilson, 56, has led the district since February of 2005.
The Princeton Board of Education has hired Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates to conduct a national search for Wilson’s successor. School Board President Timothy Quinn said board members are confident that the search process will be thorough and deliberate and that the transition to new leadership will be smooth for students and staff.
“This is a bittersweet moment for Princeton,” Quinn said. “We’re very happy for Judy as she starts a new chapter of her life, but we will sorely miss her student-focused leadership, hard work and dedication to public education. During Judy’s time here, an already well-regarded district became even better. There can be no greater testament to her tenure as our superintendent.”
Wilson led a district-wide effort to increase student achievement overall while narrowing gaps between students, particularly among economically disadvantaged students. She also expanded professional learning opportunities for teachers and administrators.
“The Princeton Public School district is a very special community of leaders and learners in all positions: volunteers, teachers, support staff, administrators, parents and, especially, students,” Wilson wrote in a letter to the school board. “My life has been influenced in many positive ways and my thinking and learning have been strengthened by the work of leading this complex, dynamic and successful district. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have worked with so many exceptional board members, educators and staff members over the years.”
Quinn said Wilson will remain fully engaged in the operations of the district for the next nine months and will work to enable an orderly leadership transition.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Judy for five years as a board member and have seen first-hand how her hard work has been translated into actions that have improved outcomes for all of our students,” he said. “She has led our district through an unprecedented time of growth against a backdrop of turbulence for public education nationally and in New Jersey. When you talk with others involved in education in the state, you realize what a treasure we’ve had here in Princeton. She will be a tough act to follow.”
If Wilson had decided to stay on after her contract expired, she would have faced a $57,000 pay cut. In 2010, the state imposed a salary cap for superintendents that would apply to any new contract. The cap, which is based on the size of the school district, has led superintendents around the state to retire and has generated lawsuits. Wilson is currently paid $224,890 per year. He contract was set to expire in June of 2014.