When Cal Lee interviewed for the Moline-Coal Valley School District superintendent’s job 11 years ago, someone asked him how long he planned to stay on board.

He answered, “Until my youngest child graduates from high school.”

He got the job when his daughter was in second grade. Now, she’s a high school senior.

And Lee is ready to retire, he said.

“So, in a way, I’m graduating with her,” he said.

Lee, 58, submitted his resignation to the school board this week, announcing that he plans to retire at the end of the school year.

“I just want to slow down a little bit,” he said. “I want to get reacquainted with my kids and grandkids.”

With 11 years on the job, Lee said he is one of the longest-running superintendents in the state, where the average stay is 3.9 years for superintendents.

Lee said he would like to teach at the university level or coach basketball again. He loves working with children, he said.

But dealing with the “attacks on education” financially, politically and legally, while trying to keep morale up and being responsible for an entire district at all times, takes its toll, Lee said.

After working in education for 36 years, he’s ready for a break, he added.

“Being a superintendent is not easy,” school board vice president Bob Vogelbaugh said, praising Lee for his leadership and participation in the district. “He’s at 99 percent of the football games. Any activity at all, he’s usually there.”

The school board plans to hire a search firm to help find candidates to fill the superintendent’s vacancy, he added.

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