Beloit superintendent retires for private sector

District hopes to hire someone to continue progress, address diversity concerns
Beloit superintendent retires for private sector
Steve McNeal

Beloit Superintendent Steve McNeal has been working in education for the last 36 years, 32 of them in administration, but now he is saying goodbye.

“I’ll miss the kids,” he said.

McNeal is retiring from his position as superintendent after 3 1/2 years in which the district has increased enrollment by 400 students, and completed more than a dozen building projects to revamp the district.

His retirement also comes after a formal reprimand earlier this year by the board of education for using an offensive image at a school convocation. Community groups pleaded for him to step down during a protest in October.

“To say that it’s been my favorite fall would certainly be a lie. Did it play in my decision? Absolutely some. But I hope that I always look in the mirror and know that I did the right thing,” he said.

McNeal will now work with Corporate Contractors, Inc., assisting school districts in construction strategies and referendums. Referendums like the $70 million  referendum the district passed in 2012 that helped build a new school set to open next year.

“Steve has set us up beautifully. We are in better shape as a district,” Vice President of the board of education John Acomb said.

Acomb said the board is looking to hire someone who will continue the district’s progress, but also fit in line with their mission to address diversity concerns brought up this fall.

“All we want really is to be sure that the next superintendent also is buying in completely in what the school board is doing to address those concerns,” Acomb said.

McNeal plans to finish out the remainder of the school year to see the referendum project completed. He said a final goodbye is worth the wait.

“I can walk away, and say I finished what I went out and sold to the public on the buildings. When I’m done in the spring, we will have substantially and importantly changed the entire district,” McNeal said.

McNeal said he planned to retire from the district within the next two years. The board has not made a decision whether they plan to hire another superintendent internally or open a national job search to find a replacement. McNeal’s official retirement date is June 30.