FLORENCE, Ala. - Dr. Janet Womack, Superintendent of Florence City Schools, has announced she will retire at the end of the current school year. She sent this email to the district today:
One of my favorite quotes states, "There is nothing permanent except change." As you know, life is full of grand opportunities and adventure. We must decide if we are willing as humans to embrace those opportunities. When Keith and I moved our family to Florence in June 2010, we knew that we would remain here for seven or ten years. Those years were driven by the age of our children and the amount of time necessary to make a positive and lasting impact on a district.
On June 1, 2017, I will be retiring as Superintendent of Florence City Schools. My husband has accepted an executive position in the Dallas, Texas area, and we will be moving our family to Texas while simultaneously moving our son to college. This year completes my 25th year as an educator in Alabama, and although I have four years remaining on my contract as Superintendent of Florence City Schools, my family and I feel that the timing is perfect to begin the next phase for our family and our careers. My husband has spent the past seven years living on airplanes so that I could live my passion in leading Florence City Schools to new levels of success. Leading FCS has been the most rewarding part of my professional career in education.
Each of you is to be commended, and my heart will always be full when I think of our journey together, for embracing the vision we set in 2010 to become #1 in Alabama and among the top in the nation. Together, we have elevated the success for Florence's children and enhanced the opportunities to reach all children. Perhaps what I am most proud of cannot be quantified in numbers, it is the passion I have watched exhibited in each of you every single day to always do what is right for all children. In addition, I am thankful to each of you, our Board, and our community for embracing innovation and becoming known as a district that leads rather than follows, and one that challenges the status quo and bureaucratic blockades to create what is right for the children of Florence.
I don't think that anyone thought that we could not participate in proration; eliminate the graduation exam two years before the state followed; form the Florence Academy of Fine Arts; implement a 1-to-1 technology initiative; build new state-of-the-art facilities (both academic and athletic); double our scholarship dollars; invest millions in professional learning; create opportunities for dozens of you to earn advanced degrees (at one-third the cost) through IMPACT80; enable 11 administrators to graduate with their doctorates at a reduced cost simultaneously (December 17, 2016); build 12 For Life as a model throughout the state and nation; raise the high school graduation rate to 96%; blaze a trail to look at assessment differently; or increase academic achievement in each and every grade level. This job has been about investing in people -- planting seeds for success, and empowering and championing each of you to be stronger today than you were yesterday for the children of Florence. My commitment to all students has never wavered throughout my leadership tenure at FCS -- always doing what is right for students, not necessarily what is convenient for adults.
Our journey together continues until 4:00 P.M. on May 31, 2017. I commit to the same expectations and tireless effort to our students, our community, our state, and you that I have exhibited throughout my years of leadership. Let's continue to focus and be intentional in all that we do for Florence's children. We have much work left to accomplish together as we empower students to explore, create, challenge, innovate and lead.
With much gratitude,
Janet S. Womack, Ph.D.
Florence City Schools