EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – Bret Towne, the Superintendent of Edmond Public Schools, will retire at the end of the 2020-21 school year.
Susan Parks-Schlepp, Public Information Officer/Director of Community Engagement for Edmond Public Schools, announced Towne’s upcoming retirement in a news release issued Wednesday afternoon.
Towne wrote a letter to employees saying he hoped to end his career in 2022 with a full 40 years of service, but his “declining vision and overall eye health” led to his decision that this school year would be his final one as superintendent, concluding 22 years with Edmond Public Schools, according to the news release.
“As I look back over the past 39 years, I am quick to recognize the opportunities I have had in this great profession. In what other line of work could one enjoy the opportunities every day to make a meaningful difference in our communities and the lives of our young people by sharing our influence, our teaching, our commitment, and our character,” Towne said.
The school district’s five Board of Education members released the following joint statement about Towne’s decision:
“Superintendent Towne has served this district tirelessly for 22 years, most notably the last six years as our Superintendent in which he has successfully faced great challenges including a teacher walkout, redistricting and currently a devastating pandemic. He has ensured that our facilities are the best and safest possible as well as provided 24,000 students with academic excellence. Superintendent Towne spends countless hours meeting with his administrative team, teachers, staff, parents, the Board, and other shareholders in order to make the best decisions for our students and community. He has led with compassion and the utmost integrity and dedication. He will be greatly missed.”BOARD OF EDUCATION
Towne became the Superintendent of Edmond Public Schools in 2015 after serving for 16 years as Associate Superintendent of General Administration/Operations for the school district.
During Towne’s tenure, the district partnered with the City of Edmond and the YMCA for shared facility use, built eight new schools and completed a digital conversion by providing each student a device.
The Oklahoma Association of School Administrators named Towne the Assistant Superintendent of the Year in 2015, Region No. 7 finalist for Assistant Superintendent of the Year in 2014 and Region No. 7 Superintendent of the Year for 2018.
The Board of Education will contract with the Oklahoma State School Boards Association in their search for a new superintendent. Board of Education President Kathleen Duncan said staff, students, and parents should expect “a successful and seamless transition” when a new leader for the district is chosen.