Wythe County schools superintendent steps down

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WYTHEVILLE, Va. (WDBJ7) The head of Wythe County schools for the last two and a half years will leave for a position in Tennessee.

Jeff Perry will now become the superintendent of Hamblen County schools. The school board voted unanimously to accept Perry as the school division's leader Wednesday night.

Perry accepted the position. His contract with the Hamblen County school board will go before the board for approval next Tuesday. He tells us his last day will be January 12th.

He sent us this statement Thursday:

"I have submitted my letter of resignation and retirement with a deep sense of regret because I am reluctant to leave those who have done so much to improve our school division. It has been a tremendous experience and I will look back on it as some of my best years in public school education. The path has not always been easy, but I truly believe we have made a positive and lasting difference. I do wish you the very best and I trust Wythe County Public Schools will continue to prosper. It is my sincere hope that I have been able to do a few things to help improve the division. I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to have served in this position.

The Wythe County School Board has been extremely good to me over the last three years. I feel extremely fortunate to have worked for such a quality school board. The Board has been very supportive and we have created a strong working relationship which allowed the school division to experience a great deal of success. In addition to the school board, I have been blessed to work with a number of highly skilled educators over the last three years. The central office staff have been some of the best people I have ever worked with in my career. The teachers have been exceptional and we are fortunate to have such a great group of educators working with our children. Without question, my life is richer simply because I have had the opportunity to work with them.

We have been able to accomplish a number of important things in the division. We have been able to make an incredible amount of academic progress. I firmly believe our students are better prepared for life. We have improved the instructional program, better aligned the curriculum, more effectively used data, strengthened the career and technical opportunities, created a positive alternative school, and developed a strong academic focus for the division. I have a deep appreciation for our directors, building level administrators, support personnel, and classroom teachers for their dedication, commitment, and hard work. All accomplishments are a direct result of their unwavering focus to help students reach their academic potential. I am looking forward to working with the quality educators in Hamblen County but I will miss my colleagues here. My last day will be January 12, 2018."