Plans To Retire At End of 2019-20 School Year
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Edmonson County Superintendent of Schools, Patrick Waddell officially announced his plans to retire at the end of the 2019-20 school year at tonight's EC Board of Education meeting.
The meeting was held at South Edmonson Elementary, where the SEES Bulldog Choir, led by music and art teacher Mrs. Jessica Doyle, first entertained in the gym with a Christmas concert.
Waddell presented a letter to each of the board members and read it aloud at the meeting. In the letter, he asked the board to accept his notification to retire as Edmonson County School District Superintendent effective June, 30, 2020.
"This decision follows much thought and prayer with considerations specifically given to my family," the letter stated.
His 16-year run at EC Superintendent began when he was hired in 2004. His career in education started more than 27 years ago when he was first hired as a teacher at Caverna Elementary. From there, he spent time at Cub Run Elementary then was named Assistant Principal at Hart County High School. He was later named head principal for the first time at Bonnieville Elementary/Middle School then as principal at Caverna High School before being named superintendent at Edmonson County.
Mr. Waddell said he began retirement thoughts about 6 months ago and began speaking with his family.
"The thing about this job is that my family has had to be part of it too," he said. "Obviously, we all knew that was going to be the case when I started here and 16 years is a long time."
When asked about summing up his years in Edmonson County, he said he considered it "a blessing."
"I've thoroughly enjoyed it. I've loved going in our schools and I've always tried to interact with our kids. I've seen multiple classes all the way from kindergarten until I handed them their diplomas. Seeing them so young and then develop into young men and women participating in sports, academic competitions, band and music competitions, all our programs, it's really special. I've enjoyed seeing the development of our staffs. We have great principals and our board members over the years have always had their focus on students. We've not always agreed on every single thing over the years, but they always had the students' interests firsts. I'm not going to miss the traveling aspect of the job, but it's really hard to find something about this job to complain about."
Waddell said making the announcement now will help the school board in the process for finding a replacement. He estimated that the school board would post the job opening sometime in January and a very comprehensive process would ensue for the hiring of the next superintendent.
"I hope they get quality applicants early so they can make a decision prior to June," he said. "I'd really like to be able to meet with the next superintendent and go over the job, go through the budget, and discuss some plans for 2020-21 school year."
When asked what his plans were for after retirement, he said nothing had been set in stone but he was looking forward to enjoying a break and spending time on his family beef cattle farm in Hart County.
"Well, this will obviously allow more time with my family. It will be nice to re-shift the focus back to them. When you're a principal or a superintendent, it's much like you have another child. Sometimes it takes priority over your own family--that's just how it is. But I've built some great relationships, made great friends and acquaintances. Both of my kids graduated from Edmonson County High School and I'm proud to say that. It's truly been wonderful."
His letter that was presented to the school board concluded with: "May God forever watch over this wonderful school district!" along with his signature.