Bay District Schools Superintendent announces retirement

News Channel 7 | By WJHG Newsroom and Katie Bente | January 31, 2023

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – On Tuesday, Superintendent Bill Husfelt with Bay District Schools announced his intention to retire on July 31 of this year.

While he declined interviews, he did release a lengthy statement saying his retirement was quote, “completely personal.”

“This community and I have been through a lot together,” Husfelt said. “And it’s been my privilege and honor to serve the students and families of Bay County for the entirety of my 40-plus years in education. The decision to retire a year early is something I have wrestled with, and prayed about, but I believe the time is right this year.”

During his four decades in education, Husfelt was a substitute teacher, a classroom teacher, a coach, an assistant principal, a principal. He eventually took on the role of superintendent in 2008.

To say he worked through a somewhat challenging four terms would be an understatement. Beginning with the recession, followed by the school board shooting, Hurricane Michael, and the pandemic.

Husfelt’s statement said he’s enjoyed working through these difficult situations with such a fantastic team, but he said it’s time for him to give back to his wife, and daughters, and be a full-time, hands-on grandfather to his 13 grandchildren.

While some board members said it was a shocking announcement, member Steve Moss said he understands wholeheartedly.

“In our meeting this morning when I met with the superintendent, one of my first question was why now? And he said it just felt right. He said, I prayed about it. I thought about it. I talked to family and friends, and he said it just felt the right time. He said, I have a big family and superintendent is an awfully big job and he said, the more time I dedicate to being a superintendent, the less time I have to spend with my family,” Moss said. “He said he just felt right after praying about it, after talking with family and he said I’m just tired of missing a lot of the events that I should be at. Graduations and weddings and those type things with kids and grandkids and so I applauded him for that, for putting his family first. I thought it was pretty cool.”

Husfelt said he hopes to spend more time with his family and thanked employees of the district for their commitment to the children of their community.

In another part of his statement to the district, he said:

“Rumors, over which we all have no control, may swirl about my early retirement but let me assure you that this decision, one that I have prayed over and pondered for a very long time, is my own and is being made for no reason other than I’ve realized we can’t take life for granted. There’s so much left I want to accomplish while I still can, and I can’t focus on family while serving as superintendent. I have no regrets about any aspect of my career in education, and I am grateful for all of the relationships and partnerships I have fostered during those four decades.”

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