Madison School District 321 superintendent Dr. Geoff Thomas has announced he is retiring from the position.
Thomas has served as the superintendent for 20 years, but his experience in public education spans 37 years. He started as a teacher in Carbon High School in Price, Utah, and progressively climbed the ladder before he entered administration.
BYU-Idaho Radio asked him in an interview why he decided to jump from being a teacher to working as an administrator.
“I thought it would be a great opportunity to have a wider impact on the education for students and teachers,” Thomas said.
He said the outreach as an administrator would envelop the entire school, rather than a few dozen from the classroom.
In his time as a public educator, Thomas has earned several awards and commendations. The 2011 Friend of Education Award, 2015 Idaho Superintendent of the Year, and the 2016 ISU Distinguished Leader Award are just a few on the list of recognitions he’s received.
But as impressive as this list is, Thomas thinks his best accomplishment is what he was able to do to help the district during a difficult time.
“During the recession, our district received a 20% budget cut overnight. It was a huge hit, but I worked with the school board and our trustees and we were able to weather the storm financially and we were able to get out of the recession without laying off a single employee. I was so proud of that,” Thomas said.
But that’s not all. Thomas also said he’s proud of the efforts the school district has shown to assist in the mental and emotional health of students.
“Madison has been a pioneer in the state and in the nation in recognizing mental and emotional health needs of our students and staff, and so the implementation and execution of our programs there have been a great source of joy to me as well,” he said.
In the end, Thomas wants to be remembered for providing opportunities for all students in the district.
Although he is retiring from this position, Thomas still has some gas left in the tank. He has accepted a job at Idaho State University where he will work as the assistant professor in the College of Education where he’ll work with graduate students who want to be principals and superintendents.