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The Board of Trustees for the Little Elm Independent School District accepted the notice of retirement from Dr. Lowell H. Strike’s, superintendent of schools, at their Monday, June 19th board meeting. Strike’s retirement will be effective December 31, 2017, allowing him to complete the first semester of the 2017-2018 school year.Strike said in a statement, “It has been my great honor and pleasure to serve the students and staff of Little Elm ISD. The Board of Trustees has made my job so much easier due to their singular focus of always putting children first in all decisions, and at the same time being cognizant of community needs and taxpayer concerns. In addition, this Board has a unique heart for the LEISD staff members who serve our children in such an unselfish manner.”“This District is on the verge of greatness and accomplishments by our staff and ultimately our children will be known well beyond the borders of the District,” continued Strike. “I encourage the Board to continue to support, as has been the current practice, the building of a strong culture of Engaging, Equipping, and Empowering both children and staff.” Dr. Strike has a passion for developing leaders in each district he has served; however, he is most impressed with the talent and passion of LEISD teachers and their general hunger to grow each day to become better at leading and serving children and peers. Due to the high interest in Strike’s leadership training offerings, known as Aspiring Leaders Institute 1 and 2, he noted that of the six new campus principal and assistant principal hires, all six came from with the District and were trained in the Aspiring Leader’s Institute.With 38 years as an educator, Strike came to Little Elm in January 2015 from Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD where he served as the Deputy Superintendent for Educational Services.LEISD Board President, Melissa Myers, announced the Board will conduct an internal search for the District’s next superintendent. “Dr. Strike is an individual of tremendous integrity and vision. He has strengthened and enhanced our educational programs, with a focus toward opening every door possible for each student and ensuring they are prepared to make the most of their future as well as being caring, compassionate, contributing world citizens. We feel with the worthy and qualified internal candidates who are available, it would be in our students’ and staff’s best interest to continue on the direction that Dr. Strike has set. Engage, Equip, and Empower is not just something we say, it is woven into the fabric as part of our District culture. Hiring internally will allow for consistency, support for the established learning culture, and provide a smooth transition for students, staff, and the community.”The plan is to begin the interview process immediately and announce the lone finalist for the new superintendent possibly as soon as the July 17 Board of Trustees meeting. Dr. Strike will remain with the District through the first semester of the 2017-2018 school year and will provide any guidance the new superintendent will require or request.Strike and his wife Kimi, who has also retired, have two children, and two grandchildren and they look forward to being more available for family, travel, and community activities.