Toso to retire: JPS superintendent to finish duties June 1After spending the last 37 years in education as a teacher, administrator and superintendent, Jamestown Public Schools Superintendent Bob Toso will retire at the conclusion of the 2012-2013 school year.
By: Brian Willhide, The Jamestown Sun
After spending the last 37 years in education as a teacher, administrator and superintendent, Jamestown Public Schools Superintendent Bob Toso will retire at the conclusion of the 2012-2013 school year.
The announcement was made official at Monday’s regular meeting of the Jamestown Public School Board, at which time the board unanimously approved the resignation letter Toso submitted.
“I want to thank everyone in this district that I have worked with. We have a wonderful school district here that I’m very proud of,” said Toso, who has been the JPS superintendent since 2006 and began in the JPS district as an administrator 12 years ago.
The decision did not come as a surprise to the nine-member board, which Toso said he expressed interest in retiring to as early as last spring.
“The board has already taken steps to start looking for the next superintendent and we will now be working with Mr. Toso throughout this process to find his replacement,” said Roy Musland, JPS Board president.
Toso’s last official day is expected to be June 1, 2013. After that, he said he has already made plans for his retirement.
“I’ll be busy chasing four grandkids, playing golf and working in the yard. Plus, my wife has a lot of trips planned,” he said.
Toso said he owes his wife, Alaine, quite a bit for sticking by him over the years.
“I owe her a lot of time. A lot of hours I’ve spent in graduate school and then working all these years,” he said. “She’s been incredible.”
In addition to submitting his resignation letter, Toso used the Monday meeting to reflect on his time in the district as well as look forward to the future.
“It’s good to reflect on what we’ve done — sometimes we get a little too stuck in the present,” he said. “Jamestown Public Schools has made huge strides over the years academically. Like I’ve said before, it’s not what’s taught that’s important — it’s what the students learn.”
Toso also highlighted improvements in facilities, technology and the overall performance of the district that have taken place during his tenure.
Looking forward, he pointed to several items that are still of concerns to JPS.
“There’s a lot more to do. There are things we need to be thinking about for the future,” he said.
Specifically, Toso pointed to preparing for the new state assessment coming in the spring of 2015, adopting Common Core standards beginning next school year, improving overall reading proficiency, developing a statewide pre-K program and balancing the district’s budget.
He also addressed the need to improve JPS facilities.
“There are lots of issues. It’s like your house — once you get done one project, it seems like there’s always something else to do,” he said.
Toso noted looming issues such as having space for pre-K programs, utilizing unused space at Washington Elementary School, renovating older buildings and developing athletic fields at Jamestown High School.
In other news, the board unanimously approved moving forward with implementing a bullying prevention program called Olweus.
Faculty and staff at Lincoln Elementary School have already been trained for the program and will serve as a pilot project for the district during the 2012-2013 school year.
As part of the approval, $1,537 of funding will be allocated toward administering a district-wide bullying survey for grades 3-12.
The program is being coordinated in conjunction with the South East Education Cooperative of North Dakota.
The board also announced that school will be canceled on Thursday for all district schools due to the death of Jamestown High School counselor Jane Aune, whose funeral will be held that day.
The next regular meeting of the JPS Board will take place at 5:15 p.m. Oct. 1 in the Thompson Community Room at Jamestown Middle School.
Sun reporter Brian Willhide can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at email@example.com