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Powell County Schools
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Superintendent Michael Tate Announces Retirement after 35 Years of Dedication to Education

Superintendent Michael Tate Announces Retirement After 35 Years of Dedication to Education

November 13, 2017  


Dear Powell County Board of Education: 


This letter serves as official notice that I intend to resign for the purpose of retirement effective January 1, 2018.  


It has been very difficult to write the opening sentence and place an exact date onto paper for retirement – it makes it seem real or actually going to happen.  It is time to make this happen as I am ready to begin the next chapter in my life.  I find myself overwhelmed with all the positive experiences I have enjoyed over the past thirty five years serving the students of Kentucky.  It has been humbling to work with all the great individuals that care about kids and serve their communities in the manner in which you and those before you have served. It has been a privilege I have not taken for granted, to serve alongside our administrators, faculty and staff in this capacity.  It has been one of the highlights of my career and life.   


I would like to say “Thank You” to all the tremendous educators that I have had the privilege to work beside during my tenure.  A special “THANK YOU” to the board members and the board attorney for our working relationship during my time as Superintendent, it was an honor to collaborate with you in serving the students of Powell County.  A special thank you to the five board members who selected me to be Superintendent of Powell County, I hope I served the students well and did not disappoint you while serving in this position.  A special bond has occurred with my fellow Superintendents whom I have leaned on for advice and guidance during my tenure as Superintendent.  Community members, business leaders, parents and guardians, it has been great to have a partnership with each of you in serving and meeting the educational needs of our students.   


The Powell County School System has been very proactive over the past seven years in serving and meeting the needs of our students.  I am overwhelmed with pride in what this administration has accomplished for the youth of Powell County during my tenure here. Every day we have remained focused on the goal of increasing Student Achievement.  We have dramatically increased choices for students at the High School with many opportunities for Dual Credit.  The only sure way to accomplish student achievement is to continue to focus on every student to graduate high school, college and/or career ready. By every single measure of our work, the youth of Powell County have a significantly better education today than they did more than seven years ago.   


Our administration and staff have worked ceaselessly to ensure a better education and outcome for the youth of Powell County.  We have moved forward with our facility plan with the purchasing of land next to the Middle School.  We have also made progress at PCMS and PCHS with construction projects over the past few year to upgrade both schools. We have assured that no single student goes hungry before they start their school day or leave us hungry before they return home, with ALL students eating free breakfast and lunch within the district.  We have been very proactive in leading the way in the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and new initiatives from Kentucky Department of Education.  The work of our teachers is nothing short of extraordinary in developing and implementing this ground breaking shift in instructional practices and expectations for students. Our technology department has been nothing less than amazing as we continue to put technology in the hands of our youth who so justly deserve to have what youth in privileged areas have every day.   All support groups are to be applauded for their effort supporting the day to day activities of students in Powell County.  


One of my most pleasurable experiences is being in the classrooms watching children grow and thrive and seeing the children of Powell County have that learning experience.  I have watched students work to accomplish the goal of earning full scholarships at top academic institutions.  I have witnessed young men and women develop the skill sets to allow them entry into the Armed Forces of the United States of America. It has been my joy seeing students grow in confidence performing at high levels while showcasing their talents in the sports arena, academics, band competition, declamation, and events like Miss Powell County, Veterans Day Programs, and the Reading Celebration.  I will always have fond memories of graduation day watching our students leave our campus with a sense of urgency ready to move on, knowing that we helped them acquire the skills and knowledge needed to be productive citizens and community members.  


Needless to say this has been hard work, in fact exhausting work. I have neglected my family and my health.  We all have carried the torch for a while, and then we give it to others to continue the work.  I have had this amazing opportunity and privilege to serve the students of Powell County.  I am proud and honored, but it is time for a transition.   Our District is in good shape, financially, educationally, and in all areas of serving the many needs of our youth. I could not be more thankful for the opportunity to have served the amazing youth of Powell County.  I will now take time to reflect of how I will continue to serve them and contribute to the community. In allowing me to do that, I hereby submit my resignation. 


In closing, let me thank my critics, for they have helped us see where we can make improvements.  I also wish to thank my supporters, you have enabled us to move quickly to right wrongs in the lives of youth, but please do not be satisfied, there is so much more we need to accomplish. Last but not least, I must say I am blessed to have family and friends who have supported me through my time in education. Simply put, “YOU ARE THE BEST OF THE BEST”.   I have been in the education world for 50 plus years; it is time to move forward with other adventures and travel new roads along the way. I would not have been able to do what I did for so many years without the backing and support of my wife…  TRU.  Tru you are the best … I love you! So proud of my children Micah, his wife Kylie and Jordon; I am so proud of you and thank you for your support, especially Jordon supporting the PIRATES.  So thankful to be raised by such great parents, Gordon and Lillie Tate.  Also, support from my brother Jeff and wife Terrie.  Then there is a special “little man Tate” named Bennett Russell Truman Tate, whom Tru and I plan to spoil rotten.    


I will end with a quote from Abraham Lincoln: 


“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”  

--- Abraham Lincoln 


I plan on enjoying life and enjoying the future, one day at a time. 


With warm regards and wishing everyone the best,  


Michael Tate 

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