Clinton Waters

The head of the Houston School District announced Monday night that he intends to retire June 1. Clinton Waters has overseen the 1,000-pupil school district for nearly three years.

Waters’ announcement officially came Monday night although he had notified board members and community leaders of his intentions before the meeting. In addition to Houston, Waters has led districts at Macks Creek and Pierce City during his 33-year career in public education.

Dr. Tom Dunn, president of the board of education, noted that the timing of Waters’ announcement also indicated his dedication to public education and the Houston Schools in particular.

“We have been working on a our bond issue, construction plans, financial health of the district and program enhancements for several months. He is eager to be a central participant in the education of the community of these issues,” Dunn said.

“At the same time, Mr. Waters has been monitoring the alarming number of superintendent retirements across the state this fall. This wave of retirements is partially due to actions by state and federal legislatures on public education. Since he had contemplated retirement in the near future, he chose to notify us now to give the Houston district the earliest possible opportunity to find a qualified replacement.”

Waters said by recruiting a replacement early, the pool of applicants will be larger, and “the community can rest assured that the continuity developed over the past three years will remain and the bond issue and building project can be handled seamlessly between myself and the new superintendent.”

Waters’ letter of resignation includes his offer to continue to help the district with the bond issue, building project and transition.

“During his tenure at Houston, Mr. Waters has demonstrated a significant knowledge of school finance, budget issues and fiscal restraint,” Dunn said. “Having continued access to such expertise is a definite asset.”

Waters’ wife, Pat, retired from Macks Creek last year. Her retirement was short-lived as she stepped in to teach high school and middle school art at Houston after a last-minute teacher resignation.

“Clinton and Pat Waters have dedicated more than 60 years to public education in Missouri. We are fortunate to have had both of them be part of our community,” Dunn sid. “It is no surprise that Pat would come out of retirement to help our students, and no surprise that Clinton would ask for her help. They are an asset to the Houston School District.”

Dunn said the process to hire a replacement is underway. The job is posted on several education Web sites. Personal letters are being sent, and previous Houston superintendents have been contacted to discuss possible candidates. The process will eventually lead to direct contact with school patrons. Finalists will present themselves to patrons at a forum at some point during the hiring process.

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