It's a time of transition at Jefferson Elementary School in Cape Girardeau.
Mark Cook, who served 32 years as an educator in public schools here -- including 14 years as principal -- is retiring at the end of the school year.
Cook won several recognition awards as principal, including the Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year award and the VFW Ladies Auxiliary Educator of the Year award in 2010.
Congratulations to Cook on a distinguished career, which won't be ending. He said he plans to do a little teaching on the side and devote more time to his family and church.
Meanwhile, the district will be looking for Cook's replacement. Jefferson Elementary, because of socio-economic challenges, needs a strong leader.
We wish the best of luck to Cook on his retirement plans and to the district in finding just the right person for the job.