Wright told the school board on January 19 that he won’t seek another two-year employment contract and will retire at the end of the current contract.
The board will initiate a search and intends to hire a new superintendent before the school year ends.
Dr. Wright has served as superintendent of the district since 2002. Before that, he worked as an administrator and as a teacher in a career that began in the San Juan School District in 1982.
As a child growing up in Monticello, Wright spent 13 years as a student in the school district. As a result, he has spent more than 45 years in the San Juan School District.
There have been 22 superintendents of local public schools since 1880, with Wright serving as a superintendent longer than all but Zenos L. Black.
It was a dramatic meeting on January 19 as the school board heard significant public comment as part of the annual public hearing regarding Native American policies. Several issues are at issue, including the voting lawsuit between San Juan County and the Navajo Nation (see story on pg 1), and the continued poor performance of several schools in the district on standardized tests.
Several comments were directed at property in Bluff that the district purchased in 2015 for possible use as the site for a new elementary school. The site is still being checked, but preliminary indications are that ancient remains may be located on portions of the property.
Melinda Blackhorse has sought resolutions from area chapters in opposition to locating the new school on the property.
School officials report that the opposition is premature since they have not proposed a new school. Officials state they will check closely and seek public input before making recommendations or plans.
The principals at Monument Valley High School and Tsebii’nidzisgai Elementary School reported on progress and challenges at their schools.