VIRGINIA CITY - A climb up Mount Hood in Oregon, a visit to Germany and a trip down the Amazon River in South America are ahead for Storey County School Superintendent Henry Kilmer now that he has decided to retire.
In a letter to the Storey County School District's Board of Trustees offering his resignation, Kilmer described a conference he once attended where the guest speaker, former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz, advised the participants to list 50 things they wanted to accomplish during their lifetimes.
Kilmer did that and, with 17 goals left undone, decided that now was the time to go. His retirement will be effective Aug. 31.
The Amazon River trip is one of the first things on the list. "I want to go see it while its still there," he said.
Other goals include visiting his father's birthplace in Germany, taking a year out to do international work and going to India and Alaska to see old friends.
Though he said he wanted to continue to work with the district in a limited capacity, Kilmer, who spent 44 years as a science teacher, coach and school administrator in four states, said travel tops his list of retirement activities.
His plans also include "spending far more time with my family and children (and now grandchildren), and continuing to learn both academically and personally," he said in his letter.
Kilmer also enumerated the district's top accomplishments during his five-year tenure.
He listed beginning Virginia City High School's intersession program, which allows students to work on special projects during the school year and praised the revitalized music and fine arts programs.
He said Storey County students' test scores were among the highest in the state, with every school in the district meeting the federal No Child Left Behind Act requirements.
Kilmer said he considered retirement for about a year and, though he is looking forward to his planned excursions abroad, he will continue to make Virginia City his home.
"This is a nice community," he said. "There's lots to do and it's fun. I'm still going to be here."
In addition to working as a teacher, coach and school administrator, he has trained teachers in India, refereed high school wrestling for 22 years and even spent a summer as a commercial fisherman in Alaska, where he also once put together a Lutheran Mission Church.
He serves on the board of directors for Piper's Opera House in Virginia City, belongs to many professional associations, the Storey County Jeep Posse, the Masons and the Carson City Rotary.
He earned his bachelor's degree from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore., and master's degrees in science and education, one from Oregon State University and one from the University of Oregon.
Kilmer said he is proud of the fact that all five of his children are college graduates and that his wife, Jo, recently completed her master's degree in early childhood education at Boise State University. Jo Kilmer teaches fourth grade at Hugh Gallagher Elementary School in Virginia City.
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