FARMINGTON — The leader of one of Utah's largest school districts is retiring.
W. Bryan Bowles announced his retirement late Tuesday after a 14-year tenure as superintendent of the Davis School District. Bowles will retain the post until Aug. 31, after which he will become an associate professor of educational leadership and foundations at BYU.
The district has grown to include 87 schools, more than 72,000 students and more than 7,000 employees during Bowles' leadership. That growth has come despite outdated infrastructure in several areas of the district, which has had to rely on some 350 portable classrooms for needed space. But voters in the district last fall approved a $298 million bond to construct additional schools.
Bowles told the district's Board of Education Tuesday that he was grateful for the board's support in meeting student needs.
"We've done great work together as a team," Bowles said. "And we've done it sometimes in very difficult situations … and working through those, we have accomplished a great deal."
Board President Gordon Eckersley said an interim superintendent will be announced soon to work alongside Bowles until his retirement. He also noted academic gains the district has experienced over the past 14 years.
High school students in the district, for example, have a graduation rate of 93 percent, a 9 percent increase from four years ago, according to district officials.
"The Davis Board of Education appreciates all that superintendent Bowles has done for the school district over many years," Eckersley said in a prepared statement. "It's obvious that his impact has been significant from the outstanding results in many areas."
Bowles has held various leadership positions throughout the district, including being a principal and teacher at Bountiful High School, as well as an assistant principal at Millcreek Junior High School.
He has also served as president of the Utah School Superintendent's Association, a member of the board of trustees of Weber State University, and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Utah and Utah State University, among other positions.