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Salt Lake City School District Superintendent to Retire

Salt Lake City School District

Salt Lake City School District Superintendent McKell Withers is leaving his post at the end of this school year, but says he will continue advocating for teachers, students and their families.

When he leaves in June, Superintendent McKell Withers will have had 40 years of experience in public education under his belt. Withers announced his pending retirement to the board on Friday. He says his contract requires that he inform the board before he can seek any other position. That’s why he announced the retirement early on.

“Over the years that I’ve been in this role, I’ve been recruited for lots of different positions,” Withers says. “ I’ve just had to say thanks anyway, not interested. Now I can actually talk with people and see what’s up and see what options are out there and what I might be interested in.”

Withers announced his retirement weeks after school board member Michael Clara asked the U.S. Department of Education to investigate the district for possible civil rights violations. But he says the timing of his decision and the complaint are not connected.

“Boy, not at all from my vantage point,” Withers says. “The school board member in question has filed dozens and dozens and dozens of complaints with multiple agencies. None of which have ever had any formal findings of wrong-doing or a problem.”

Withers says he hopes his legacy will be his accomplishments in early childhood education and commitment to providing optional full-day kindergarten in the district.   

The school board will meet in the coming weeks to determine a process for replacing Withers. 

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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