MISD Superintendent Gary Plano Announces his Departure

January 21, 2017 | by Erin Sirianni

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Mercer Island School District (MISD) Superintendent Dr. Gary Plano recently announced that he will be concluding his tenure as district superintendent at the end of this school year. The announcement was shared in a letter sent earlier this week to district staff, families, and community members.  His last day will be June 30th, 2017.

You can read Dr. Plano’s letter below:

Dear Mercer Island staff and community,

As the new year unfolds, I want to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a very happy and healthy new year and share some news. To those of you who set resolutions and goals for the new year, it is my sincere wish that you achieve them.

For me my new year’s resolution is to focus on family and wellness. To that end, I am announcing the end of my tenure as superintendent from the Mercer Island School District at the end of the day on June 30, 2017. While I hesitate to use the word retirement, I know that my newfound time will enable me to discover new passions and perhaps build on existing ones in new ways.

It has been a great privilege to serve you and our students these past 12 years. It has been an honor to end my 40-year career in education in a community that so values learning and honors educators. I will surely miss the wonderful people, including my entire staff, colleagues, parents and community members I have met over these many years. You have given me a lifetime of memories that I will always treasure.

I am very proud of the work that we have accomplished together over my 10 years as your superintendent. Our collective work has changed our students’ lives in many positive ways that are too numerous to count.

I am thankful to the school board who hired me in 2007 and to new board members and new boards who have extended my contacts over and over again. I am thankful to be surrounded by so many talented educators, support staff, volunteers and parents. You have a heart for children and for learning-thank you for being part of my educational career.

As I look back, I smile when I see myself as a teacher in a classroom with students around me, whether it was in elementary, middle or in high school. To those of you who know me well, you must know that I relish in finding teachable moments. My mom often told me there is always the teacher in me speaking.

Perhaps I will once again find myself with students and their smiling faces and again will share in their delight when they learn something new.

Over these next five months, I hope to see you in the classrooms, playfields, auditoriums and simply “just around town.” I will be relocating to Ashland, Oregon this summer where I plan to live the next chapters of my life.
News about the search process for a new superintendent will come from our School Board President, David D’Souza. Thank you for all that you have given to me, as I am forever grateful.

Best regards,
Gary Plano, Ed. D.

According to the letter, Dr. Plano will relocate to Ashland, Oregon, after having served MISD for 10 years.  He was appointed as superintendent by the Mercer Island School Board in September 2007.

Following Dr. Plano’s announcement, the school board shared a statement in appreciation of Dr. Plano’s services serving the Mercer Island School District.

“On behalf of the School Board, I want to express our appreciation and gratitude to Gary for his decade of outstanding service as our superintendent,” said David D’Souza, Board President. “He has been instrumental in creating and implementing our 2020 Vision, Mission and Fundamentals to guide our district.”

D’Souza also shared that the school board will soon announce their next steps for selecting a new superintendent.