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Former Lodi Unified School District superintendent Bill Huyett announces retirement

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Posted: Saturday, December 17, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 6:05 am, Sat Dec 17, 2011.

Bill Huyett, Lodi Unified School District's former superintendent, has announced he is retiring from education after 38 years. At the end of June, he will leave the Berkeley Unified School District, where he has worked for four years.

"I was drawn to Berkeley because I saw an opportunity to work on the achievement gap," he said in a prepared statement. "With a committed board, dedicated staff (and) an involved community ... much has been accomplished in the past four years. Now I'm ready to pass the torch so I can spend more time with my wife and family."

Huyett could not be reached for further comment.

During his tenure in Berkeley, he tackled bullying issues when there was a spate of seven students arrested for bringing guns to school, according to a San Jose Mercury News article.

He also helped narrow the disparity between white and non-white test scores.

Community members like Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates told the newspaper that the district's recent successes could not have been accomplished without a good leader.

"He's been a fantastic superintendent," he said. "The cooperation between the city and the school district has never been better. Working together we've made tremendous strides in working on the achievement gap and health disparities. It will be very difficult to replace him."

Huyett made his retirement announcement earlier this month. It's not clear where he will be living; up until at least two years ago, he still maintained a home in Lodi.

At the time, he hinted at retirement, noting Berkeley would likely be his last superintendency.

Huyett's career began as a math and physics teacher. After stints in Dixon and Elk Grove, he served as Lodi Unified's superintendent for seven years.

He counts among his major accomplishments building 12 new schools, adding on to about 10 others and getting rid of the highly unpopular year-round schedule. But he also noted in a 2010 News-Sentinel article that the district improved by 150 points in the Academic Performance Index.

He left Lodi for Berkeley at the beginning of 2008 because he was looking for a new challenge, he said at the time.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

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