Superintendent Bart O'Brien plans to retire

Began district career teaching at Colfax High more than 30 years ago
By: Loryll Nicolaisen, Journal staff writer
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Bart O’Brien figures 32 years is enough. The Placer Union High School District superintendent told trustees Tuesday of his plan to retire, effective June 30, 2009. “For 32 years, I have absolutely loved my work. I have been incredibly fortunate in so many ways. So, leaving now, while I am still enthusiastic, is the right thing.” he said in a letter addressed to board members. O’Brien said Thursday that he has ambivalent feelings about retiring. “I always thought retirement was something that happened to someone else,” he said. O’Brien, who has been superintendent since November 2000, said he announced his intent to retire now in order to give district staff and trustees plenty of time to find his successor. He recommended the board hire a search firm to find his replacement, and said trustees would like to have someone in place by May. O’Brien looks forward to further pursuing recreational exploits including rock climbing, traveling and photography. O’Brien’s first position with the district was teaching at Colfax High School. O’Brien told trustees he’d like to attend the Colfax High’s graduation on June 6. “It somehow seems appropriate to finish where I began 32 years ago,” he said in his letter. “It will also be the 40th anniversary of my graduation from Colfax High.” Anne Evans, administrative assistant to the superintendent, has known O’Brien professionally since 1990. “He’s irreplaceable,” she said Thursday. “He’s an amazing educator and his energy is so positive and proactive. He’s really dedicated to this district.” The Journal’s Loryll Nicolaisen can be reached at