"I feel good about what I've been able to do, I've contemplated the things that I haven't and maybe somebody else can get that done," he says, "so for the good of me and my family and the district I just think it's time for a change."
Espe says the decision was a tough one, but that there were no specific factors, good or bad, that swayed him in this direction. He admits there are things he won't miss, but many he will, like speaking directly with students, and the "exciting things" happening in education right now.
A decision hasn't been made as to what's next, but Espe says he's open to many possibilities and isn't in a hurry. He says he hadn't really talked about retirement until last fall, when he reached the age he could consider it.
"Then you start thinking, what if I did and what kinds of things might I do, what would I miss, what wouldn't I miss, and I kind of weighed the things and I hope I've made the right decision for myself and everyone."
Espe will serve until the end of July, but wanted to give the school board plenty of time to hire a new superintendent by this fall.