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Bonneville school superintendent to retire after upcoming school year


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IDAHO FALLS — Longtime Bonneville School District superintendent Chuck Shackett will retire at the end of this school year.

“It’s time for new blood to move the district to even a higher level,” Shackett told Idaho Education News Tuesday. “(My retirement) is 100 percent at the end of next school year.”

Shackett began his education career 37 years ago in Utah, where he worked as a teacher, coach and principal. He then lead East Idaho’s Shelley School District for five years before moving to Bonneville, where he oversaw nearly two decades of rapid population growth.

From 2000 to 2018, Bonneville’s enrollment grew from 7,149 to 12,900, securing its place as East Idaho’s largest school district.

Under Shackett’s leadership, the growth contributed to six new elementary schools and a new high school. In March, voters approved the construction of a new middle school, which workers are expected to break ground on sometime later this school year.

Weathering the boom was difficult at times, Shackett said, acknowledging periodic contention with a school board sometimes at odds over how to absorb the growth.

That contention may have played a “subconscious” role in his decision to retire, Shackett said. However, it’s “healthy to have that difference of opinion” to “compromise and come up with the best decision for all,” he added.

Despite the periodic contention, the prospect of retiring and moving on to other things mostly fueled the decision, Shackett said.

“I might start a business,” he said. “I’ve already been approached for consulting work, but want to take a break from education.”

Shackett said he hopes to round out his final year in the district by spending as much time as possible with students. He lamented not being able to do that more during his long administrative career.

“That’s why you go into education in the first place,” Shackett said.

Shackett said Bonneville trustees have asked him to help in the search for his replacement. The school board is scheduled to discuss Shackett’s separation package at a board meeting tomorrow night. His two-year contract expires June 30, 2019. Shackett makes $156,029, which ranks among the top five highest paid superintendents in the state.

This article was originally posted on on August 7. It is used here with permission.