Academy District 20 today announced Superintendent Dr. Mark Hatchell, one of the longest serving superintendents in the state, will retire effective June 30, 2019. Hatchell announced his plans for retirement Monday morning during a series of district meetings and communications.
“Our district has greatly benefited from Dr. Hatchell’s tenure, which has been marked by numerous outstanding accomplishments,” said Tracey Johnson, president, Academy District 20 Board of Education. “He has introduced new initiatives and programs that made our district the most innovative in the state. Similarly, our strong student achievement scores have led the district to be Accredited with Distinction for 10 consecutive years. These accomplishments speak not only to his educational expertise and dedication, but also to his character and visionary leadership.”
Hatchell has served as the district’s superintendent for the past 12 years. During that time Academy District 20 experienced unparalleled growth; adding new buildings and increasing the student count by more than 5,000 students. He led the district through a mil levy override election and most recently, in 2016, a bond initiative that received overwhelming support from the community.
Pushing the district to not rest on its laurels, Hatchell’s vision propelled Academy District 20 to establish innovative new schools such as an online high school, K8 online school and the Home School Academy. At the same time, the district launched an Academic Arts Academy, Project Based Learning, Chinese Exchange Program, world language immersion schools and iPad initiatives. Under Hatchell’s leadership, the district continues looking ahead, recently rolling out cybersecurity, coding and a Teacher Cadet Program. Next year the district will begin offering building trades and automotive programs.
Hatchell will continue to lead the district through the 2018 – 2019 school year, with his final day being June 30, 2019. The Academy District 20 Board of Education will soon embark on the planning phase of its search process.
Dr. Mark Hatchell’s Retirement Letter
I am honored and humbled to have served as your superintendent for the past 12 years. It is not an exaggeration to say I loved every minute and could easily stay for another dozen years. But after 37 years in education, 18 years as a superintendent, this past summer I decided to retire effective June 30, 2019.
The last two years have been the most enjoyable and rewarding of my career. We have embarked on adding a number of new programs across the district plus a major building program constructing new schools, renovating many others and adding additions. Again, thank you for your trust, your partnership and for supporting the 2016 bond. Because of your overwhelming support, every school has benefited.
The decision to retire was one of the toughest I have ever made. I have a genuine love and respect for Academy District 20 and will miss it very much. But with most of our building programs ending next summer, our outstanding student assessment scores, strong survey results and the strength of our finances, next June is the right time for me to pass the baton.
Just as nothing can prepare you for the unique responsibilities that come with this position, it was equally difficult to anticipate the joys I experienced working with great boards of education, outstanding staff members, supportive parents and the best students in the state.
Academy District 20 was an outstanding school district long before I arrived, and my hope is I helped make it a little better. I am proud to be one of the longest serving superintendents in the state, but this honor is too great for one person to claim as their own for too long.
Thank you for the opportunity to lead this great district and thank you for teaching me the true meaning of the Peak of Excellence.