Ted Gilbert, the Clarke County School District’s associate school superintendent for district services, is stepping down.
Gilbert will retire at the end of this month, Clarke County School Superintendent Demond Means announced at Thursday’s meeting of the Clarke County Board of Education.
Means lavished praise on Gilbert, who got a standing ovation from the board and from the small crowd gathered in the atrium of the Athens Community Career Academy for the board’s monthly meeting.
Gilbert has been “truly a gift to me,” Means said. “He’s a prince of a man. He’s a good man. He cares about the children of this district, but more importantly, the taxpayers as well.”
Means noted the school district’s beautiful buildings, and how school administrators work with parents and teachers in planning schools.
“That’s all due to the spirit of Mr. Gilbert. It’s been my honor to learn from you,” said Means, though he took one teasing dig at the end: Gilbert is a graduate of Georgia Tech.
Gilbert, who lives in Monroe with his wife of 49 years and high school sweetheart, Liza, said he doesn’t yet know how he’ll spent his time post-retirement. The couple met in 10th grade at Decatur High School when they were both 14, dated others for about a year after they went off to college, but then got back together and eloped when they were 19.
Gilbert is 68 now, and would like to spend more time with his children and grandchildren, he said.
“But I have absolutely loved my experience here,” said Gilbert, who often took extra duties on himself, helping direct traffic on the first day of school, for example, or cooking hamburgers at a school event designed to boost young black men’s literacy.
Gilbert left a career in construction management 15 years ago when a friend encouraged him to apply for a job the Clarke County School District was looking to fill. He got that job, supervising the the school district’s multimillion dollar Special Local Option Sales Tax construction projects, before several years ago taking the associate superintendent post he’s retiring from.