At the October 28 meeting of the Johnston Board of Education, Superintendent Clay Guthmiller announced his retirement, effective June 30, 2014.
“It is after much thought and reflection that I make this decision [to retire]. I want to thank you for the honor and privilege of leading this outstanding educational institution … I am very appreciative of the opportunity I have had to serve the students, staff, parents, and Johnston school community.”
Guthmiller came to the top Johnston post in 2006 after serving as superintendent in the Leavenworth, Kan. school district for four years. He also held the superintendent position in Great Bend, Kan. By his June retirement, Guthmiller will have served as a public school superintendent for 25 years. Guthmiller is a graduate of South Dakota State University.
During his eight-year tenure as the Johnston schools superintendent, Guthmiller has set forth a number of initiatives that have earned the district notoriety. Among his accomplishments, Guthmiller:
· Oversaw elementary boundary revisions in 2006 and 2013
· Implemented all-day kindergarten programs
· Supported digital technology initiatives for students and staff
· Emphasized school improvement through the PLC (professional learning community) process
· Afforded students with enhanced educational opportunities and programs
· Developed numerous curriculum, instruction, assessment, and professional development initiatives
· Created a new, encompassing strategic plan for 2013-16, approved by the Board of Education
· Led a successful 2013 Johnston Schools $41 Million Bond Campaign that addressed needs for better, larger facilities with a multi-part construction plan that will bring an new 10-12 high school, larger 8-9 middle school, renovated Wallace Elementary, and renovated Administrative Resource Center to the district and its families
In his letter to the Board, Guthmiller expounded upon the work ethic of the educators and administrators in the district, saying, “Our accomplishments have come about because of the district’s hard working and dedicated employees who are committed to serving children.”
The Board accepted his retirement and will consider the hiring of a search firm to look for the next superintendent.
“Clay has done an outstanding job as superintendent of our district during a period of tremendous growth and change,” said Johnston Board of Education President Greg Dockum. “As a result of his leadership, the Johnston School District is respected for its educational excellence and progressive learning initiatives, and is poised to excel at even greater levels in the future.”
In the meantime, Guthmiller will continue to fulfill all responsibilities of the superintendent. One of the most pressing issues at the time, he said, is working through the elementary boundary revisions. The appointed committee will continue to meet throughout the late fall and into January 2014, with new boundaries presented to the Board at the January 27, 2014 meeting.
“We have much work to complete during the coming months,” said Guthmiller. “We will continue to focus on the goals set forth in our strategic plan.”
Guthmiller will also preside at the ground breaking of the new Johnston High School, expected May 2014.
More news related to the superintendent search will be posted to the district website, along with dates and times of activities to honor Superintendent Guthmiller.