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Farmington schools superintendent Gene Schmidt set to retire at the end of the school year


The district school board will discuss the search for next superintendent

FARMINGTON — The Farmington Municipal Schools superintendent is set to retire after seven years with the district and a 25-year career in education as he looks to spend more time with his family and pursue a career in education consulting.

Superintendent Gene Schmidt announced in a Jan. 6 video posted to the district’s Facebook page that he will retire at the end of the current 2021-2022 school year on June 30.

“Dr. Schmidt has worked tirelessly for our students and families. He will be leaving Farmington Municipal Schools a better district than he found it. He has kept the school system stable and in constant improvement,” said Board of Education President Kyle Rhodes said in a news release.

More: Farmington schools prepares for upcoming $8 million proposed bond election

Schmidt was hired as superintendent during an April 9, 2015, Farmington Municipal Schools Board of Education meeting and started working there the next month.

He previously worked for Los Alamos Public Schools as superintendent for six years before joining Farmington schools. He also had 10 years as the Bridgeport School District superintendent in Bridgeport, Washington.

Schmidt took over for former Superintendent Janel Ryan after she retired in December 2014.

The district school board is set to discuss the search for Schmidt’s successor at the Jan. 11 board meeting.

Schmidt told The Daily Times that retirement is something that he’s been thinking about for a while.

“Seven years is a wonderful gift that the community has given me,” Schmidt said. “There’s just some other things that I’d like to do before I leave this world.”

When reflecting on his time in Farmington schools, Schmidt said he believes he was able to help elevate the quality of education in the area and provide additional academic achievement opportunities for all students.

“I’m very proud of the fact that we have focused on kids first, and that would not have been possible without having great teachers and school leaders,” Schmidt said. “I would want to share my admiration for the work of Team Farmington that has helped me and in fact empowered me to do things that I think may be creative.”

The superintendent had a list of accomplishments from his time so far with Farmington schools.

The district collaborated with San Juan College along with the Aztec, Bloomfield and Central Consolidated school districts to form the early college high school San Juan College High School.

District officials developed the Farmington Family School at Northeast Elementary School program, where students split classroom time between the elementary school and home learning.

Schmidt highlighted efforts to increase technical education in the district long with work to increase and improve career education programs.

He also said he believes moving all the district offices into the former Hilcorp building on 30th Street has increased management efficiency for district employees.

For the remainder of the semester, Schmidt is looking at continuing to advocate for schools on the state and federal levels.

Another key issue is trying to help students recover from the lost learning they endured since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schmidt and his wife Wendy Schmidt plan on retiring to Washington state to spend more time with his grandchildren and mother.

He hopes to write a book or two about his educational leadership experience. The superintendent has conducted some virtual visitations to international schools as part of an advanced accreditation group.

Schmidt conducted a virtual trip to a school in Egypt this school year and hopes to make an in-person trip in the future.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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