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Waterloo Superintendent to Retire
WATERLOO, IA (Waterloo Schools) - Waterloo Schools Superintendent, Dr. Gary Norris, has announced his plan to retire effective June 30, 2014. After more than four decades in education, the past six years heading up Waterloo Schools, Norris is looking forward to starting a new chapter in life with his wife, Julie. Norris credits the effort of the 1,400 members of the Waterloo Community Schools family and the Waterloo Board of Education for the districts progress under his leadership.
A Kansas native, Norris became the youngest superintendent in Kansas, at age 32, in a small rural district of 440 students. Years later, he went on to oversee the Sarasota County School District in Florida, the 100th largest school district nationwide with 43,000 students, before coming to Waterloo. During his forty-two years in education Norris was a music teacher for six years, a building administrator for four years and a superintendent for 32 years. His career as a superintendent took him to six different communities: Satanta, Kansas; Hibbing, Minnesota; Vero Beach, Florida; Salina, Kansas; Sarasota, Florida and Waterloo, Iowa.
I have really enjoyed the past six years in Waterloo, Iowa, perhaps as much as any school system or community in which Julie and I have been fortunate to have served. I have also enjoyed making professional acquaintances in the Cedar Valley and all over the State of Iowa. Perhaps one of the most rewarding experiences, for me personally, is witnessing the professional transformation of Waterloo educators, as they have learned to use every tool in the playbook to raise student achievement, said Norris.
In an email sent earlier today to employees, Norris praised them for their accomplishments:
There are far too many things to list all that you have accomplished in the past five years, but I will mention a few:
A school system with an intense, consistent focus on increasing student achievement
An aligned literacy and math curriculum
A fully functioning, tiered system of instructional and behavioral supports
A comprehensive spectrum of programs to meet the needs of at-risk students
A professional learning community philosophy and practice
Significant increases in the use of technology to enhance instruction
Establishment of a vision for 21st Century High Schools
Waterloo School Board President Mike Young said, Dr. Norris always has the best interests of our students in mind. He built on past successes of his predecessors and has left the district in a better place than when he arrived in 2008. The school board is so grateful for his dedication to our schools.
The board is expected to accept Dr. Norris retirement at its December 9 meeting and start a succession plan.