Although Stu Silberman officially will be superintendent of Fayette County schools through the end of August, he spent his last day at the district's central offices Wednesday.
His accumulated leave time allows him to leave office Thursday. He will assume his new duties as executive director of the Prichard Committee on Academic Excellence on Sept. 1.
"I'm just trying to ease out, taking care of a few things that I'm still dealing with, and going around to the different offices saying goodbye to people," Silberman said Wednesday morning. He has been superintendent since 2004.
Tom Shelton, named last month as Silberman's successor, will take over as superintendent Sept. 1. Mary Wright, the district's chief operating officer, will handle day-to-day decisions until then.
Shelton, who is winding up his tenure as superintendent in Daviess County, has been visiting Lexington regularly to familiarize himself with his new job. Silberman said he'll be available to advise Shelton until he takes office.
Central office staffers surprised Silberman by filling his car with brightly colored balloons Wednesday morning.
"I think my wife was in on it," Silberman laughed.
"Saying goodbye to people is tough after so many years. There are a lot of tears today, but they're happy tears. It's very bittersweet," he said.