Whittier Union School District Superintendent Martin J. Plourde announced Wednesday, December 15, that he will retire on June 30, 2022.
Plourde’s announcement ends a 40-year career – 30 of which have been spent as an administrator for Whittier Union in education in which he has served in almost every position, starting as an English teacher and coach of basketball and ending up as superintendent of a district that serves more than 11,000 students.
âIt has been a privilege to lead Whittier Union, and while I will miss the people of this district, I am quite excited about this next chapter of my life focusing on grandchildren and traveling with my wife,â Plourde said in a press release sent by email.
âThese are great times in education and we have done great things in this district to support our students and create a safe and nurturing environment that fosters success and resilience,â he said. “Whenever I’m asked what makes Whittier Union special, my first, last and only answer is people.”
The reaction to the phone calls and email releases on Wednesday was universal – disappointment that he was leaving but understanding of his decision.
“On the one hand, I’m sorry to see him go but on the other hand I understand,” said board member Ralph Pacheco.
He has family projects that he wants to achieve during his retirement, âsaid Pacheco. ” We will miss him. âHe did an exemplary job. We’re sorry to see him go.
Board members said they would begin the process of finding a replacement in January and establish a timeline.
During Plourde’s tenure, he dealt with a number of issues, including the pandemic that forced campuses to close for nearly a year.
âHe took on that challenge and got the outcome he and we all wanted to see,â board member Leighton Anderrson said of the distance education program and the schools reopening in the spring of 2021. .
Board Chairman Russell CastaÃ±eda-Calleros listed some of Plourde’s successes.
âFrom gaining recognition from Pioneer and La Serna as Distinguished California Schools, to maintaining beautiful modern schools and working with the community to approve bond funds for future improvements, the District continues to thrive because of his strong leadership, âsaid CastaÃ±eda- Calleros said.
Plourde also created the Whittier Union Transportation Division, guiding the adoption of the $ 183 million AA measurement requirement, adopted the Latin Honors academic system, unified the Sierra Education Center campus, oversaw the completion of Pioneer High School Aquatic Center and guided the process of establishing director elections.
Whittier Mayor Joe Vinatieri said he too was sorry to see Plourde retire, but added that retirement is a good thing.
“He will be missed,” Vinatieri said. âHe provided great leadership. “
Linda Small, Whittier City School District board member, said Plourde was a strong leader for Whittier Union.
âWe worked well together to try to make sure that our elementary and middle school meshed well with the high schools,â Small said.