During last night’s closed session of the Board of Education meeting, Perry County School District No. 32 Superintendent Andy Comstock notified the board that he intends to retire at the end of the next school year.
Comstock’s letter was presented to the board in closed session unanimously approved. He will continue to serve as superintendent until June 30, 2023.
“I am announcing my retirement date this early to put the district and Board in the very best position going forward,” he said.
Board President Jamie Robinson said the board appreciates the advanced notice from Comstock.
“I would like to thank Andy for announcing his retirement as early as he has,” Robinson said. “This allows us plenty of time to find a replacement and to provide a smooth transition. Over the next 18 months, our hope is to find the person who will replace Andy and have them work closely together for an orderly transition.”
Comstock joined the District 32 staff in July 2016, replacing Scott Ireland.
Comstock says the role of superintendent of a district with five schools isn’t quite what he’d anticipated. “This job has been more rewarding than I’d thought possible, which is directly related to how challenging it’s been.”
Comstock entered the district as the Long Range Facilities Committee was exploring how to best address overcrowding in school buildings and how to best repair or replace aging facilities. He supported the Proposition KIDS Committee through passage of the 2017 tax levy increase to pay for the eight-year, $35-million Long Range Facilities Plan. Projects completed to date include the total renovation of the 1976 building that serves at Perryville Elementary School, construction of the new Perryville Primary Center that includes a tornado safe room, construction of the FEMA tornado safe room at Perry County Middle School, site preparation for the new middle school facility, and all of the infrastructure and roads to support those facilities.
Comstock also guided the committee that created the 2021-26 Comprehensive School Improvement Plan. “The CSIP is the strategic plan that outlines how we will meet the community’s objectives for our schools,” he said. “Parents, staff, community members and our board collaborated over several months to create this roadmap for continual improvement. And that’s been my mantra here at District 32: We’re a good school, but we can always be better. Our CSIP was designed to help us become the school by which other schools measure themselves. I am looking forward to advancing toward that goal for the next 18 months.”
Robinson said, “We have been so blessed to have Andy around to help us through our long range facilities planning. The community was gracious enough to pass a tax increase in 2017 and we’ve been doing our best to be good stewards of the community’s money since. I think that we’ve done a fantastic job with the new Primary Center, the fully renovated Elementary and the work we’ve begun on the new Middle School. The district has been truly transformed. Andy has helped lead us through this transition and has spent countless hours with architects and contractors to ensure we’re completing things in a timely manner and as cost effectively as we can.”
CAREER IN EDUCATION
Comstock began his career in 1994 as a high-school science teacher at New Madrid County Central High School, where he also coached freshman football and track. He then moved back to his hometown of Sikeston, where he served as the assistant principal at both the junior and senior high schools. He was the junior high school principal for 5 years, then served 5 years as an assistant superintendent before joining the Meadow Heights district as its superintendent in 2012. This is his sixth year at District 32.
He and his wife Bettina live in Perryville and have four children: Alex, Adam, Amari and Treven.
“For myself and my family, this is the right time to announce my retirement,” Comstock said. “The responsibilities of my position have too often pulled me away from my family when they most needed me. I am looking forward to having the time to be the very best husband and father I can be.”
For the next 18 months, Comstock said he’ll remain focused on serving the students and staff at Perry County School District No. 32.
“I’ve got work to do and the very best team of people by my side,” he said. “I can’t wait to see what more we accomplish together in the coming months.”
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