Superintendent Tom Pritchard set to retire from Woodland School District – Daily Democrat | #retirement | #elderly | #seniors
Tom Pritchard, who has served as the Woodland Joint Unified School District superintendent for the past four years, is set to retire on Oct. 1.
Before starting an open session during a regular Woodland School Board meeting Thursday night, board President Jake Whitaker announced that he and his fellow trustees had accepted a notice of retirement from Pritchard.
“Mr. Pritchard has diligently served our community for the past eight years,” Whitaker said. “During my time on the board, I have developed a close working relationship with Mr. Prichard, and I have enjoyed every moment of it. He is leaving behind what I would describe as a substantive legacy.”
“When Tom was hired, our district’s administration was facing many challenges,” Whitaker continued. “His mission was to bring stability and rebuild our district. To set us up for success that would last long after his tenure. I believe the fruits of his labor will become apparent in due time and that his successor will be well-positioned to build on the momentum.”
Although he has been superintendent for the past four years, Pritchard has been serving the Woodland School District for the past eight years, previously working as the assistant superintendent of human resources.
Whitaker outlined some of the biggest achievements the board has been able to accomplish since Pritchard has been superintendent, including establishing a common organizational focus on the best first instruction, overseeing four positively certified budgets, developing the Woodland Graduate profile, creating a dual enrollment memorandum of understanding with Woodland Community College, developing LCAP goals and activities for the next three-year cycle, finishing phase one of Spring Lake Elementary’s construction with phases two and three in progress, completing phase one of Woodland Stadium master plan, integral to the passing Measure Y, which was a $44 million facilities bond, and many others.
“By no means am I saying that he gets all the credit,” Whitaker clarified. “His successes are organizational successes, but when you’re the person who shoulders the blame when things go wrong, it’s important to give credit when they go right.”
Since Pritchard’s last day of service is set for Oct. 1, Whitaker mentioned that the board will now have the proper time to search for and identify a successor and prepare for a smooth transition.
Trustee Rogelio Villagrana also shared some thoughts.
“I want to thank him for his commitment and for sharing his talents with our students, families, and community,” Villagrana said. “You’ll be missed, Tom. I really appreciate your leadership approach and ability to help others develop and grow. I know it’s hard for you to accept compliments, but you create that space so that people feel they can contribute in the way they have. There are not enough words to say how much I appreciate you. Woodland Joint is much better off because you were a part of it so thank you so much.”
Former board president and current trustee Morgan Childers also said a few words.
“I have worked with a lot of people in the last 35 years, and I can confidently say nobody has taught me more in professionalism, positivity, patience, and poise,” Childers said. “You’re not only a great superintendent, but you’re a great person. You’ve been a tremendous role model. I’m glad we have a few more months to work together. I sure appreciate everything you have done. I’ll enjoy the next few months, and then I’m going to miss you.”
Trustee Deborah Bautista Zavala also shared some words.
“As this news comes as a surprise, I have months to celebrate your retirement, but I also have months to pray for you and our district to continue to reopen with the strong leadership that you have given us,” Zavala said. “I’m very thankful for all that you have done, and on a personal note, I’ll share that you taught me to value my personal time that I have with my family on another level.”