Waterloo Schools Superintendent Dewitt Jones is retiring after six years with the district. The 61 year old Jones says he doesn’t have any immediate plans, but hopes to travel more with his wife and possibly pursue teaching at the university level. Jones believes Waterloo schools are in better shape since his arrival.
"In the last six years, we’ve really seen some tremendous upswings in our student’s academic performance," Jones says, "and that never hurts to those things happening and know you’re hopefully leaving a place in better shape academically than it was before." When Jones arrived in Waterloo in 2002, the district’s graduation rate was 67 percent…it’s now near 80 percent.
Jones says the achievement gap between African-American kids and the rest of the student population has diminished, but "still needs improvement." Before being named Waterloo’s superintendent, Jones was in charge of the Fond du Lac School District in Wisconsin for four years. Prior to that, he was superintendent of the Norwalk District near Des Moines for eight years.
Jones plans to serve the remainder of his contract, which expires on June 30. He says he’s making the announcement now, so the school board can hire a new superintendent to start on July 1.