ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – For nearly three decades, Dr. David Young has worked in Texas Public Education. Working as a teacher and an administrator, with nine of those years spent as superintendent of Abilene ISD. In a heartfelt letter to the community, Tuesday, he announced his pending retirement by the end of the 2023-2024 school year.

“I’m ready to keep doing great things for kids and for teachers, but I’m going to do them at a different capacity. It’s just time for me to prioritize my family, my health, do the things that I love doing to support kids but just not in the capacity of superintendent of the school. I’ve been thinking about this for some time,” said Dr. Young.

Abilene ISD is going currently through some changes. Just ahead of the school year, it entered an agreement with System of Great Schools, which will monitor how the schools are behaving and adjust accordingly. That could make for all-boy or all-girl campuses, even charter schools.

“The System of Great Schools is work that I’m excited about. We’ll continue after I’m gone, certainly,” Dr. Young assured. “We now know, but it’s work I assured into our school district. I embrace that opportunity for our school district, and certainly, will for my remaining time here.”

Even though Abilene ISD is in this transition period, Dr. Young shared that he knew it was his time to step down.

“I know there’s somewhat of a disconnect between the indicators the State might say are important and what we actually done for kids, but I will gladly – when I hang up my hat at the end of the day – be proud of the impact we made for kids and for families, and by extension, our entire community,” volunteered Dr. Young.

Dr. Young says he decided to make his announcement early to make sure the right candidate is found, “To provide a lengthy notification to our board and our community is to set the district up for success.” He said he did this, also, because he knew a new superintendent could face many challenges.

“We’re at a crisis point in public education, not just in Abilene ISD,” Dr. Young continued. “Whether it be teacher shortages, how do we find the right folks to be involved with our kids?”

However, Dr. Young is wanting a successor who will keep the same priority, “At the end of the day the reason we do what we do is what I always say is the main thing… is kids.”

Dr. Young also expressed a proud thanks to the district, as he was a fruit of the AISD tree himself; a Class of 1990 graduate of Cooper High School.

“Leading a school district that you are the product of has been, really, what I would say the high point of my professional career,” added Dr. Young.

Come January, Dr. Young will transition to an emeritus superintendent role to allow the board to process the search for the next superintendent. Dr. Young estimates the new superintendent will begin their role by July 1, 2024.