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During a Board of Education meeting this morning, Asheville City Schools Superintendent Allen Johnson announced his retirement following the end of this school year. His last day of work is yet to be determined. Mr. Johnson has served as Superintendent of Asheville City Schools since January 2008. Prior to this date, Mr. Johnson served as Interim Superintendent from July 2007 until January 2008 and as Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction from 2003-2007 for Asheville City Schools.
Mr. Johnson previously informed the Board of his desire to discuss retirement and both have agreed to a buyout of his remaining contract in the amount of $ 175,000. By law, the buyout will not be paid from State funds. Mr. Johnson’s current contract expires on June 30, 2016. This arrangement will allow the Board to immediately begin the search for a new superintendent to further the great work done every day by Asheville City Schools’ educators. At the Board’s request, Mr. Johnson has agreed to remain in his position until the Board decides on the process of hiring a new superintendent.
Johnson feels good about his decision and wants the Asheville City Schools family to know he believes that the timing is right. In prepared remarks, Johnson said “I am very honored to have served as Superintendent of the Asheville City Schools. During my tenure of six years as superintendent I am most pleased to leave a school district poised for greatness. ACS has received the highest graduation rate to date at 87%, the lowest dropout rate of 2.92% in a decade, and SAT scores of seniors above national and state average for 15 consecutive years. Our school district enrollment has grown continuously during the past 4 years, we implemented the 1-1 laptop initiative at AHS/SILSA among others, we received Advance-Ed Accreditation, and we efficiently managed a complex school district budget during the great recession.”
Johnson also stated, “One of the most significant endeavors during my tenure has been the planning for two new schools including a new Dickson Elementary and new Asheville Middle School. We are grateful to citizens of Asheville/Buncombe County and the County Commissioners for their support of these critical new facilities. These will be the first new schools built in Asheville City Schools in approximately 30 years.”
In a prepared statement Ms. Jacquelyn Hallum, Chairperson of the Asheville City Board of Education stated, “The Board and the entire community owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Allen Johnson. He has been a dedicated leader and advocate for our children and leaves the school system well-positioned for the future. The Board is dedicated to beginning a process that will attract a new Superintendent with the commitment, talents and drive to sustain and improve academic outcomes and opportunities for all students in the Asheville City Schools.”
“People often ask what will you do when you retire and my answer is I am not sure,” says Johnson. “I know there will be plenty of activities that will fill my time. I have no immediate plans and look forward to developing new opportunities in the future.”
Johnson concluded, “I wish to thank the Asheville City Board of Education including present and past members for their support of our children and district. I am deeply grateful to our teachers and administrators who are dedicated to improving academic achievement of all of our students.”