LPS Superintendent Steve Joel Announces Retirement


Former Southwest student Thurcy Cook interviewing Joel for the MLK my walk series.

John Robert , Editor

After 11 years as superintendent for Lincoln Public Schools, Dr. Steve Joel has announced he intends to retire at the end of the 2021-2022 year. 


Joel led the school district through various challenges including the Coronavirus pandemic and the challenges following it.


Joel joined LPS in 2010 after serving as the superintendent for Grand Island Public Schools for 10 years, with one of the first challenges he had to deal with being the fire that burned down the LPS headquarters in 2011.


Doctor Joel is well respected in the district and he left a positive mark on many students and staff.


“I love Steve Joel,” senior Kevin Amaro said. “He’s an awesome guy and he’s done a lot for the district.” 


Joel had considered retirement in recent years, but a bond issue to build two new high schools and an unprecedented pandemic put those plans on hold until now.


“I think his retirement is great for him and great for his family, but I think it’s a loss for our district. I think he’s been a great leader from what I see,” administrator Duane Baack said. “I don’t know what he does on a daily basis but I know he deals with a lot of things.” 


Joel has won many awards, including state superintendent of the year for his contributions to the district.


“The biggest thing I see is that he’s a purposeful leader. When he makes a decision there’s a purpose behind it. As an administrator you appreciate that because he’s transparent.”


Joel’s retirement brings a career of over 40 years in public education to an end. The next steps will include selecting a superintendent and setting the time frame for applications and interviews, which is a process that could take five to eight months.