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Dysart's Pletnick announces retirement after 2017-18

Posted 7/21/17

Dysart Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Gail Pletnick speaks with a student. By Jennifer Jimenez

Independent Newsmedia

The Dysart Unified School District will have big shoes to fill …

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Dysart's Pletnick announces retirement after 2017-18

Dysart Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Gail Pletnick speaks with a student.
By Jennifer Jimenez
Independent Newsmedia

The Dysart Unified School District will have big shoes to fill for the 2018-19 school year. Superintendent Gail Pletnick is set to retire after the completion of the 2017-18 calendar.

District Director of Communications and Public Relations Zach Fountain said the governing board was informed of Ms. Pletnick’s decision to retire recently and is in the process of retaining a national search firm to fill the superintendent role.

The board discussed her retirement and the first steps of a search for her successor during its July 19 board meeting.

“The next step for the governing board is to evaluate potential search firms, make a selection, and work with the awarded firm in vetting potential candidates,” Mr. Fountain said. “More information about the dates and times for key events in this process will take place once a firm is chosen.”

Ms. Pletnick has been in education for more than 40 years. She has served as DUSD superintendent since 2007 after working previously as assistant superintendent.

“I feel very confident in the leadership of the Dysart Governing Board and know they will select the right candidate to continue this important work and continue pushing this district to the next level of excellence,” Ms. Pletnick said.

She was selected as the 2016 Arizona Superintendent of the Year and currently serves as the President of the School Superintendents Association (AASA).

“Dr. Pletnick is at a place in her personal life where she would like to have more time to spend with her family and pursue other interests,” Mr. Fountain said. “Actually, she has so enjoyed her work in Dysart Unified and put off retirement until this year.”

Mr. Fountain said the district is recognized for the work they are doing to ensure students are future ready and Dysart has a dedicated staff who will carry on the work to provide a quality education for each and every child.

Governing board member Traci Sawyer-Sinkbeil said she is very proud to have worked alongside Ms. Pletnick in her eight years on the governing board. She said it will be great to watch her leading the charge across the nation with the talents she has.

For example, Ms. Pletnick spent July 18 on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. testifying to the U.S. House Education and the Workforce Committee on behalf of ASSA. The meeting topic was ““ESSA Implementation: Exploring State and Local Reform Efforts,” and she spoke of the effects proposed federal budget cutbacks to the Every Student Succeeds Act would have at a local level.

“Superintendents not only here in Arizona, but also across the country are very complimentary of Dr. Pletnick’s leadership and all they have learned through her example,” board president Jennifer Tanner said.

Ms. Tanner said the board is used to working with Ms. Pletnick day in and day out and has certain expectations she has always met. But she said when you get out and talk to other people working within education you can see that her leadership has truly done wonders for the district.

“We thank you for all you do for public education,” Ms. Tanner said.