Oxford Community Schools superintendent will delay planned retirement

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

The superintendent of Oxford Community Schools announced Monday he will delay his retirement as the school district works to rebuild and recover from a mass shooting that killed four high school students.

Timothy Throne said like many others, he has been "totally consumed by this tragedy" and has been asked by families and staff about the status of his retirement. His last scheduled day was to be Jan. 21.

Oxford Schools Superintendent Timothy Throne

"In recent days, I have been discussing my planned retirement with my family, my pastor, and my Board and have made the decision to hit pause on my planned retirement to avoid adding additional uncertainty or disruption to our school community, which has suffered so much," Throne wrote in a public post on the district's website on Monday.

"I remain solely focused on responding to this tragedy, and I am committed to making sure our students, families, and staff are fully supported during this difficult time for our community. Now is simply not the right time for me to leave," Throne wrote.

Throne said he will work to ensure a smooth transition and give the board additional time to complete its superintendent search.

Throne had announced his retirement plans at the start of the new school year and the district began its search for a new leader in October. His four-year contract was set to expire on Dec. 31, 2022. His base salary is $206,811.

The school board hired the Michigan Leadership Institute to find candidates and began planning meetings in late October. A special board meeting was scheduled for Wednesday for the board to be presented with applicants and make decisions on which candidates to interview.

Lisa Hagel, executive director at the Michigan Leadership Institute, said the deadline for applications for the position ends at the close of business Monday.

Throne is named as one of several defendants in a $100 million lawsuit filed by two survivors of the Nov. 30 shooting at Oxford High school that accuses school officials of failing to stop an attack that inflicted physical and psychological injuries on students.

The four Oxford High School students killed in the shooting are Hana St. Juliana, 14; Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Tate Myre, 16; and Justin Shilling, 17. Six of the seven surviving victims are back home from the hospital, and police say the seventh was recently downgraded from the intensive care unit.

jchambers@detroitnews.com