Walla Walla school chief to retire

Richard Carter, superintendent since 2000, plans to step down at the end of the school year.

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WALLA WALLA -- Walla Walla Public Schools Superintendent Richard Carter will retire from his position with the end of the current school year.

Carter announced his retirement plans during the School Board's regular meeting Tuesday night.

With the move, Carter will be wrapping up a 37-year career in public education.

Carter's last day is expected to be June 30, after 10 years in the position.

"When the end of the year arrives, it is my greatest hope that the legacy I leave in the Walla Walla Public Schools is a stronger organization than when I arrived," Carter said in a statement. "I want all the school board members, administrators, teachers and staff to know that my success has always been based on their success. Together, with a caring and committed staff and guidance by parents and community and business leaders, we have shaped one of the highest quality educational institutions in the state; one that we can all be proud of."

Carter's career has included being a classroom teacher and coach. He rose through the ranks to be a principal, then superintendent. He served as superintendent of Carbonado Historical School District and served 10 years in the White Salmon School District before moving to Walla Walla in 2000.

School Board President Mary Jo Geidl praised Carter's work, noting positive changes that have included instituting all-day kindergarten, teacher collaboration, rebuilding Sharpstein and Edison schools, and most recently, establishing a Transportation Cooperative that is 90 percent funded by the state.

"It will be a challenging task to find a replacement for him," Geidl said in her statement.

Carter said his retirement plans include traveling with his wife, Nancy, playing golf, and spending more time with their two daughters.

School board members will start discussing superintendent search options. No plans have been made at this time.

Maria P. Gonzalez can be reached at mariagonzalez@wwub.com or 526-8317. Check out her blog at blogs.ublabs.org/schoolhousemissives.

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