The Poudre School District Board of Education voted Monday to approve a mutual agreement with Dr. Sandra Smyser to retire from her position as district superintendent on Jan. 8, 2021.
The board has concluded that a change in leadership is in the best interest of the district, and Dr. Smyser’s agreement to an early retirement illustrates her unselfishness and desire for the district to attract quality superintendent candidates. Dr. Smyser started with PSD on July 1, 2013. The Board of Education would like to thank Dr. Smyser for more than seven years of dedication to improving our schools.
“On behalf of the Board of Education and Poudre School District’s staff, students and families, I want to honor Dr. Smyser’s longstanding commitment to our communities. Throughout her career, she has been a tremendous advocate for public education.” said Christophe Febvre, board president. “Although we acknowledge this is a significant change, we are excited to continue PSD’s history of excellence, made possible by our amazing staff and community that go above and beyond to serve our students every day.”
During Dr. Smyser’s tenure, PSD accomplished many achievements, including:
- Students have consistently outperformed their peers statewide, as evidenced by many consecutive years of high growth and achievement on state assessments.
- Multiple schools received state and national distinction, including for work in recent years to close the achievement gap.
- Voters approved both the 2016 $375 million bond and $8 million mill levy override, to fund construction of three new schools, a district athletics complex, a new transportation facility and major improvements to all existing schools; and the 2019 mill levy override to raise first-year teacher salaries, enhance safety and security, support students' mental health and maintain competitive wages for support staff.
- Staff brought to life the board's District Ends, aspirational and visionary goals that guide the district's work with students to ensure they are prepared to graduate with the skills and foundation they need for a changing world.
The Board of Education will appoint an interim superintendent to lead the district as soon as possible. Until then, PSD Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Schools Todd Lambert and Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools Scott Nielsen will assume the superintendent’s duties.
The board will begin the search for a new permanent superintendent immediately and intends to have that person in place by July 1, 2021. Engagement with PSD students, staff, families and communities will be of vital importance, and the district will share more information as the process moves forward.