San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Bill Kowba to retire

Retirement effective June 30

SAN DIEGO - San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Bill Kowba will retire this summer, 10News learned.

"I think it's time for me to complete my contract commitment," Kowba told 10News.

In a letter sent to the San Diego Board of Education Tuesday, Kowba announced he would retire effective June 30.

"If you look at the 150-year history of this district, outside of the Great Depression of the 1930s, we have not had the terrible draconian resource cutting year after year," Kowba told 10News. "There is nothing that cuts into me more than watching people plead for their job."

Kowba was named the district's superintendent on June 29, 2010. He served as the district's interim superintendent since September 2009. He also held other positions within the district over the past seven years.

His retirement sparked mixed reaction from parents outside Tuesday night's school board meeting.

"Mr. Kowba failed to have a cohesive course of study and to provide opportunities for students to move out into the world," said parent Sally Smith.

When asked how he would rank Kowba as a superintendent, parent David Page said, "The best I've ever seen and the best in the state of California and I've known some."

But the economic challenges facing the district including an $86 million budget deficit this year alone have been far from the best.

Kowba, 60, was a former Navy admiral prior to joining the district in 2006.

The Board of Education has not yet announced a plan for hiring Kowba's successor.

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