Amphitheater School District Superintendent Vicki Balentine recently announced she would be retiring when her contract expires on June 30 of this year.

Balentine took the reins at Amphi in 2000, and during her term, school officials say the district has achieved “great success.”

In 2005, district voters approved a maintenance and operations override for the district, providing an increase in funding for art, music and physical education classes, lower class sizes, more elective high school courses and recruitment incentives.

In November 2007, voters approved the largest bond issuance in the district’s history, providing up to $180 million for capital improvements.

During Balentine’s tenure, the Amphi School District was also recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, being awarded a coveted teacher-incentive grant worth $29 million over five years. The district was able to create a pay-for-performance program at designated schools. The grant-funded program was deemed one of the largest of its kind in the nation.

In an open letter to the district staff and community, Balentine officially announced her retirement and expressed gratitude.

“It indeed has been an honor and a pleasure working with you during these 12 years,” she said. “I am proud of our shared achievements in ensuring that Amphitheater is a district continually focused on providing an excellent education for all of our students.”

Balentine was twice appointed to the Arizona State Board of Education by the Governor, and has served two terms as president of the statewide body. She also currently serves as an executive committee member and treasurer of the Arizona Business and Education Coalition.

A search for a new superintendent is currently under way.

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