Dan Boyd Retires

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by Ruth Ward

Dan-Boyd-for-web

Dan Boyd

Jackie-Johnson-and-Dan-Boyd-for-web

Jackie Johnson and Dan Boyd

The walls and shelves of Superintendent Dan Boyd’s former office at the headquarters of Alachua County Public Schools are bare now. But until just a few weeks ago they bore testament to a lifetime of achievement and appreciation—letters, plaques, photos and other memorabilia from grateful students, colleagues, local organizations, even the governor.

Until his recent retirement, Boyd had spent more than four decades with Alachua County Public Schools. He started his career as a teacher, then served as an assistant principal and principal, including 24 years at the helm of Gainesville High School. Under his leadership, the school developed the district’s first career magnet, which is now the highly-successful Academy of Health Professions. He also spearheaded the development of the district’s first pre-collegiate program for minority students and a host of other academic, extracurricular and parental involvement programs.

“I wanted all my students to reach whatever goals they had for their futures,” said Boyd. “That meant providing them with plenty of support and opportunities to succeed.”

After four years as the district’s Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Boyd was named Associate Commissioner for the statewide Florida High School Athletic Association. Then in 2004, he was tapped to become Superintendent of Schools. It was a dream come true.

“I’d always hoped that one day I would follow in my father’s footsteps,” said Boyd. His father, William Daniel Boyd, Sr., was superintendent of Duval County Public Schools from 1940 to 1952.
“It’s been a blessing to be able to do it in such a wonderful district.”

During Boyd’s tenure the district has experienced significant success. SAT and Advanced Placement scores are typically among the state’s best, and far beyond national averages. There are many more opportunities for students to gain real-life experiences and earn college credits through one of the district’s many career-tech programs. Local students are earning state, national, even international recognition in academics, the arts and other areas. Boyd even established a middle school sports program that has boosted grades and cut down on absences and disciplinary issues.
Boyd led the district through two successful ballot initiatives that will support the arts, magnet programs, classroom technology and other vital programs and services in Alachua County schools for years to come. He’s also been a strong advocate at the state level for public education.

Mark-Scott-&-April-Griffin-for-web

Mark Scott and April Griffin

“Public schools are essential to our democracy,” he said. “All children must have the chance to grow into happy, well-educated, productive citizens. Our schools give them that chance.”
Boyd’s focus has always been on young people, and he’s worked with thousands over the years. His advice to students?

“Get involved, whether its music, sports, student government or some other activity that sparks your interest,” he said. “You’ll build relationships and skills that will last the rest of your life.”

As for Boyd’s activities after retirement, he’s going to spend more time on his passions—his family, the outdoors and books. “I plan to read, read, read,” said Boyd. “That’s something else I’d encourage all students to do.”

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