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1/10/24: Dr. Debra J. Clemens Announces Retirement as Superintendent of North Thurston Public Schools

Lacey, January 10, 2024 – At the January 9 North Thurston Public Schools Board meeting, Dr. Debra J. Clemens announced she will retire at the end of this school year. Dr. Clemens, who has served as the Superintendent since 2016, will retire on June 30, 2024.

Board President Gretchen Maliska expressed heartfelt gratitude for Dr. Clemens' unwavering leadership, steering the district through challenges, including navigating the complexities of the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring financial stability, and fostering educational innovation.

"Dr. Clemens led our district in remarkable achievements, including record-high graduation rates, the establishment of three new choice schools, and significant infrastructure improvements, all accomplished with resilience and grace," Maliska said. "She has left an indelible mark on NTPS, ensuring our district has an ongoing commitment to excellence and a mission to prepare students for successful futures. With her dedication and vision, she has positively impacted the lives of countless students, educators, and families."

During Dr. Clemens’ tenure, the district opened three new schools to respond to the changing needs of students and families: Envision Career Academy, Ignite Family Academy, and Summit Virtual Academy.

Other key district achievements under Dr. Clemens’ leadership include:

"I'm deeply grateful for the support of our incredible community, the dedicated educators, and the hardworking staff who have been the driving force behind our collective success," Dr. Clemens said.

With a career spanning over 34 years in public education, Dr. Clemens cited her husband's recent retirement and family commitments as reasons for her retirement. She expressed her eagerness to remain engaged in service.

The NTPS Board of Directors will initiate the search for the next superintendent, aiming for a seamless transition to ensure the district's continued excellence. The incoming superintendent is expected to assume duties on July 1, 2024.


About North Thurston Public Schools 

NTPS is a vibrant and diverse school district serving more than 14,800 students in the south Puget Sound. We serve the community with 13 elementary schools, four middle schools, three comprehensive high schools, and four choice schools. Our mission is: Committed to Excellence: Preparing all students for rewarding careers, fulfilling lives, and compassionate global citizenship. For more information:  

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