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Ashland superintendent resigns

Ashland School District superintendent Kelly Raymond has resigned from her position to move closer to family in Washington state, the district announced Sunday.

Raymond’s resignation is effective June 30, but as of Saturday she no longer has any duties or responsibilities to the district, according to Ashland School Board member Jim Westrick. Ashland Middle School principal Steve Retzlaff will serve as “acting superintendent” following a unanimous vote by the school board Saturday, according to the district’s news release.

Raymond beat out three finalists and was offered the job in March of 2017, starting on July 1 of that year. She followed interim superintendent Suzanne Cusick, who led the district through the 2016-17 school year following the resignation of Jay Hummel.

“I’ve enjoyed my time here,” Raymond said in the news release. “This district has a dedicated, truly excellent team of teachers, student support staff and administrators. The equity work we’ve done is particularly close to my heart. We’ve improved student achievement, restored the fund balance, and also passed an important bond together. This community is very supportive of education; thank you for all the ways that you made working here in Ashland a real pleasure.”

Before moving to Ashland, Raymond was the executive director for Instructional Leadership in Highline School District south of Seattle. She was raised and educated in Australia, where she earned a masters of education degree in curriculum and administration from Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, and a bachelor of education degree in science and mathematics from Australian Catholic University in Sydney, Australia.

Prior to her role in the Highline School District, Raymond helped improve the Technology Engineering Communications High (TECH) School in Tacoma, Washington, serving as principal for four years. She was also director of high schools and professional and organizational development for four years in the Tacoma Public Schools. The TECH School was awarded a Washington School of Distinction Award during her tenure, as well as Bronze and Silver School awards from US News & World Report.

Ashland School District Superintendent Kelly Raymond, right, presents Nguissally Thiaw with the Ashland Rotary Club Student of the Month award. Raymond has resigned.