After 38 years in education, including 18 in Guthrie, Guthrie Public Schools Superintendent Terry Simpson will retire following the 2011-2012 school year.
Simpson looked down at the table following his announcement as school board president Janna Pierson and first vice president Colette Datin each thanked him for his dedication and service to the school system.
“It’s just time, it’s just time,” Simpson told Guthrie News Page in his office following the meeting. “My (four) grandsons are growing up, my wife has been retired for four years as a school administrator and we got some things we want to do (travel). I have always had people tell me you know when its time and I know its time.”
Simpson will have spent 29 years as either an assistant superintendent, or superintendent, including the final eight years as the districts superintendent. His first superintendents job was in Walters, Okla.
“This has been a great place. This has been really awesome and I have enjoyed the great people, great staff and great kids. I think people under-estimate just how good our kids are,” Simpson said.
Simpson spoke of a couple of opportunities in the private sector and will consider some of them, but was quick to mention he does not want to do any of them on a full-time basis.
The long time educator, who has spent time as board president for both the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association and Oklahoma Superintendent Association, reflected back on some of the items his administration was able to accomplish, including the renovation of Jelsma Stadium in 2006.
Simpson said the next Guthrie superintendent will have to deal with technology in education, facilities, bond issues, buses and a changing state department of education.
“We are not able to purchase technology with bond issues as other districts are and we can’t keep cutting it out of the general fund and paying for it when we are in this economy. Of course, in this economy, it is tough to pass bond issues so it’s a two edge sword,” Simpson said.
Simpson, whose final day will be June 30, 2012, concluded by saying he has met many life long friends in the field of education.
“I have met some life long friends, that I will ever have through education. We have great teachers, great administrators and a great board. They have been very supportive to let me do my job and I really appreciate that.”
Simpson finished by looking toward the future for the Guthrie school system.
“I hope they can find someone to come in here and can really step in and make things not only continue, but go into more areas than I have been in and do more things than I have done because these kids and staff deserve it,” Simpson concluded.