Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Principal to retire after 25 years in education

  • By
  • | 4:00 a.m. April 16, 2014
  • East County
  • News
  • Share

EAST COUNTY — To the students she passes in the hallway, the thrill-seeking side of Janet Kerley may not be apparent.

For the Haile Middle principal, who has visited more than 35 countries and enjoys reading Pulitzer Prize-winning books, retirement does not mean taking it easy.

Kerley officially announced her retirement April 8. Her last day is June 30.

She has served as Haile’s principal for 12 years.

After Kerley says goodbye to her co-workers and her life in education, she plans to visit Australia and New Zealand, and to read through the dozens of novels collecting dust on her bookshelves.

“I’m not sure (what I’ll do), but I do know I don’t believe in the concept of retirement,” Kerley said.

Kerley said she looks forward to the uncertainty retirement brings, after a life of following schedules.

She knew at a young age that she wanted to teach, she said, but at the time, she loved writing more, which shaped her career choice when she started looking for jobs in the late ‘80s.

After more than nine years as a journalist and editor for various publications, her focus shifted to working with students.

She accepted a position with Southeast High School, where she taught English and creative writing.

To advance her career, in 1998 she accepted an assistant principal position at Lakewood Ranch High School, where she worked for four years.

She then transitioned into middle school — an age group with which she connected.

“If you get kids interested in something in middle school, a lot of times it becomes a career track,” Kerley said. “Middle school gives (students) the opportunity to find out what their strengths are before going into high school.”

In retirement, Kerley says she may refocus on her past love — writing.

“I’m at the age now where I have a lot to offer, and I’ve learned a lot over the years,” Kerley said.
Kerley is the fourth East County school principal to announce her retirement this year.

Janet Kerley
Number of years at Haile Middle School: 12

Number of years in the Manatee County School District: 25

Post-retirement plans: Kerley plans to spend most of her time exploring two of her biggest passions — traveling and writing. The principal has visited more than 35 countries and already has a fall trip planned to Australia and New Zealand.

Contact Amanda Sebastiano at [email protected].



Related Articles