DES MOINES, Iowa — Dr. Thomas Ahart is resigning as superintendent for Des Moines Public Schools.
His resignation takes effect June 30, 2022.
"Leading Des Moines Public Schools has been the honor of my professional life, however, I am ready to begin a new chapter," Ahart said in a statement. "I will be forever grateful to the excellent educators, support staff, administrators, students and families who have made this district one of the best in the country."
The district's school board voted in May 2021 not to renew his contract past 2023.
An administrative law judge ruled just a few days later Ahart violated his duty by not complying with a law intended to ensure students could learn in classrooms during the pandemic.
"The last two years didn't feel like two years. It felt more like four or five years. I think if you ask any educator, they'll tell you," Ahart said at a press conference.
DMPS said they will appoint an interim superintendent for next school year (2022-23) with plans to have a replacement in place for the start of the 2023-24 school year.
Ahart began in the district as principal of Harding Middle School. He was named the district's superintendent in March 2013 after working as interim superintendent (2012) and associate superintendent (2011).
"Whether lobbying at the State Capitol or cheering in the stance of an athletic event, Dr. Ahart has always operated with the interests of our community, our district and our students in mind," Board Chair Dwana Bradley said.
Read more comments from the district below: