YUHSD Superintendent Thompson announces retirement
The Yuma Union High School District Governing Board, by way of a 5-0 vote on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, accepted the retirement of Superintendent Gina Thompson, effective June 2, 2023.
The Board also voted to open the search for a new superintendent to internal YUHSD candidates, beginning September 21.
Thompson has served as Superintendent since October 2017, initially in an interim role, before officially being hired in February 2018. She has worked in YUHSD for 33 years, including serving as an English teacher, assistant principal, principal, and associate superintendent.
“Who would have known that a ‘brief’ visit to my parents, who relocated to Yuma, would result in finding my home?” Thompson said. “It has been such an honor, privilege and quite a ride being a part of YUHSD70. The opportunities presented in this district and in our Yuma community have allowed me to grow professionally and personally. It’s a difficult thing to put into words what the three decades here has meant to me. I am forever grateful for the many leaders and mentors who have supported me and the work of our students throughout my career.”
Thompson moved to Yuma from Washington state in 1989. Her first job in education was in Yuma and she made it her permanent home, establishing herself as a leading advocate for students and public education.
“I am leaving a group of the most dedicated teachers and staff, a team of committed and talented administrators at campuses and the district office, and I know full well they will continue the special work happening in our district,” she said. “I believe in outcomes and actions and will continue to be relentless in the work for EVERY student’s opportunity to be college, career and community prepared upon graduation.”
During Thompson’s tenure leading the district, YUHSD has increased its graduation rate, lowered its dropout rate, and grown exponentially in the area of Career & Technical Education. She also oversaw the arduous task of working to secure funding for the construction of Somerton High School, which is slated to open next fall. Her most lasting legacy, however, may be the introduction of the district’s Portrait of a Graduate initiative which is being rolled out during the 2022-23 school year and is a culmination of the college, career, and community preparedness mission the district has touted during the past decade-plus.
“Although I am personally saddened that Mrs. Thompson has announced her retirement at the end of this school year, YUHSD is extremely grateful for the work she has done in her long career in our district,” YUHSD Governing Board President Phil Townsend said. “She is leaving YUHSD in a great place. Under her leadership, our district has been a national leader in many areas. Her focus has never wavered: she is committed to what is best for our students. Her mentorship to others has created an outstanding number of leaders and teachers within YUHSD. I look forward to continuing to work with Mrs. Thompson and wish her well in her retirement.”
Thompson, who intends to remain in Yuma after retirement, shared Townsend’s sentiment regarding their six years working together.
“I have been fortunate to work with such a supportive governing board during my tenure,” Thompson said. “They offered invaluable confidence and leadership over the past six years and I’ll be forever grateful for that.”
Similarly, the Yuma community likely remains grateful for her leadership as well.