An Online Community Discussion on the Corbett School District

From: Bob Dunton <>
Date: March 15, 2013, 3:52:08 PM PDT
To: Bob Dunton
Subject: Corbett Charter School and a Message Regarding Retirement

Hi, All,

Hope this finds you well. It’s been a relatively warm winter, but the cold and flu bugs seem not to have taken any time off! I hope your house is healthy or recovering!

I wanted to touch base with you regarding the future of Corbett Charter School. A big community gathering (Red and Black) and an upcoming District board election add up to a fresh round of rumors about the future of Corbett Charter. The rumor mill is fully functional, and the same people whose predictions have frequently failed to materialize in the past are just as certain as ever of the ‘clarity’ of their clairvoyance. It can be unsettling when people speak doom with such certainty, and it is somehow less convincing for someone (even someone who has frequently been trustworthy) to say that things are going to be OK. There must be survival value in tending to believe the worst. That, or calamity is just more interesting than is the status quo. But let me be clear: things are going to be OK.

I wanted you to hear directly from me that I intend to retire from the Oregon system next year. I turn 60 next February and will retire on or before the end of the month. Among other things, this will save dollars in a budget that is going to be pressed by an $80,000.00 increase in our PERS costs. Although there is never a ‘good’ time for such an announcement, making it now allows time to process while we are still in session rather than dispersed for the summer, and announcing next fall is simply too little notice.

My retirement will not result in an immediate change in my role in the daily operations of Corbett Charter School. I plan to teach full-time again next year and to continue administering the school through June.

My top administrative priority is the charter renewal. Over the last 14 years I have poured my life into Corbett School District. I doubt that there is another who has put more hours or energy into Corbett’s academic success. The creation of Corbett Charter School was necessary to the preservation of Corbett School District’s outstanding academic program, and I believe that renewal of the charter is every bit as critical and for the same reasons. It it not just four years of the charter school that is on the line for me, it is the work that has (as of next year) consumed a quarter of my life.

Following renewal, I believe that it will be time for Corbett and me to enjoy a change of scenery. (As scenery goes, I certainly got the best of that exchange.) I have never had the patience to provide leadership to the status quo, being much better suited for development and improvement efforts. We will find great leadership for the school, and I believe that Corbett Charter will be synonymous with quality education for another generation.

So this is not a farewell message. It is an acknowledgement that there will be a transition in our future. We all know this every day when we venture forth from beneath the covers, but most days we don’t have to give it much thought. Anyways, I wanted you to hear it from me. I have known some of your kids for most of their lives, and more than I can count have become very dear to me. I will continue to care for them as well as I possibly can throughout their school careers.

I hope you enjoy your weekend. Mine is off to a good start. Sheri, Alyssa and Lara made a recon trip to the zoo in preparation for an upcoming field trip, and the elementary wing is undergoing a transformation to become the city of Alexandria. Good times ahead!

Good luck…and may the odds be always in your favor!


Bob Dunton, Director
Corbett Charter School