After six years as Superintendent, and 22 years with Edmond Public Schools, Superintendent Bret Towne announced he will retire at the end of the 2020-2021 school year.
During his tenure, the district developed partnerships with the City of Edmond and the YMCA for shared facility use, constructed eight new schools, and completed digital conversion to put a device in every student’s hands.
In a letter to employees, Towne said he had hoped to mark the end of his career in 2022 with a full 40 years of service, but his “declining vision and overall eye health” have made it clear that this “should wisely be my final year to serve with you.”
The district’s five Board of Education members released a 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.”
Towne began serving as Superintendent of Edmond Public Schools in 2015. Prior to that, he served for 16 years as the Associate Superintendent of General Administration/Operations for the district. The Oklahoma Association of School Administrators named him 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.
“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,” said Towne.
The Board of Education plans to contract with the Oklahoma State School Boards Association (OSSBA) for superintendent search services. Board of Education President Kathleen Duncan said when a new leader for the district is chosen, staff, students, and parents should expect “a successful and seamless transition.”