ADA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The longtime superintendent of Forest Hills Public Schools is retiring this coming summer.

In a letter to families on Thursday, Superintendent Dan Behm announced he would be retiring after 17 years in the position and 30 years in public education in Michigan.

“I cannot thank you enough for supporting bond elections, volunteering in countless ways, leading booster groups and PTOs, coaching kids, finding an outfit at the last minute for ‘wacky clothes days’ when you are tired, reworking your schedule on a half-day so our teachers can become even stronger at what they do, and giving financial and emotional support to the many initiatives and events of the district. You and our teachers and staff give selflessly so that our kids can be kids and we can turn our schools into sanctuaries for learning, trying, falling short, trying again, and succeeding,” Behm said in the letter.

Behm noted he planned on retiring in 2021 but felt compelled to stay as superintendent due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When I became eligible to retire in 2018, my plan was to work three more years and retire in 2021. However, with the pandemic in full swing in 2021, I felt the need to provide continuity during a time of widespread uncertainty,” Behm said in the letter.

The board of education will start the search process for a new superintendent in the coming weeks.