Washington superintendent to resign

By Xiomara Levsen, The JOURNAL


Friday afternoon, the Washington Community School District released a special agenda for a school board meeting to be held this evening.

There were two action items listed on the special agenda: superintendent resignation and superintendent search.

Washington superintendent Jeff Dicks has been superintendent in Washington for three years and has shared with WACO for two years, he said.

?This was always our plan to be here until I stop being superintendent,? Dicks said. ?I never thought my old position would open up. I loved my time here and we enjoyed the community.?

Dicks met with the president and vicepresidents of the WACO and Washington school districts a few weeks ago to let them know he was interviewing for his former position.

?They knew and were aware I was looking, as well, and that was the uniqueness of it, and then I told staff once the district (Newell Fonda and Albert City-Truesdale) wanted to announce who was coming in for an interview,? he said. ?Then I always feel the obligation to let my staff know. I think all the people I?ve worked with at WACO and here deserve to hear it from me. I can?t talk to them all, but an email was sent.?

Dicks first heard about the position being open in Newell-Fonda when he received a phone call from people in his old district asking how they should proceed with the search for their new superintendent, he said. The more he spoke to them the more he realized he missed working in a smaller district where he was more hands-on with students every day.

?Being shared in a district this size and with WACO it?s just difficult to get that hands-on and feel the change firsthand, so that part I miss and it?s easier to do in smaller districts, which I was doing,? Dicks added.

He?s enjoyed his time at WACO and at Washington, but has had less time being involved with the students because of the size of Washington, he said. When he was at WACO he could walk out in the hall and would see students there, but in Washington he would have to drive to each building.

When his old position opened up again he thought it was something he couldn?t pass up. His parents are getting older, and traveling back and forth from Washington to where they lived meant several hours in the car on weekends.

?It pretty much kills a weekend in the car to go see our [oldest] son play basketball and the other piece ? our youngest, who?s very active, grandparents saw a couple of games but no other family saw him play this year,? Dicks said. ?While that doesn?t bother him right now ? when he gets to high school it?s nice to have family around you as you?re participating and competing.?

He would like to thank everyone for their support in the district.

?From the beginning, just the outpouring on welcome here, you do feel sad for leaving, but I think most have understood kind of our motivations (for doing so),? Dicks said. ?My principal group here at Washington, I think the furthest one from home is Williamsburg. They looked at me and said, ?We get it. We totally understand,? so that helps.?

Everyone in both districts was great to work with, and his children enjoyed attending school here, he added.

Tonight, the Washington School Board will discuss how to proceed with the superintendent search, which will be listed as a shared position with WACO, Dicks said.