ABILENE, TX (KTAB) – Dyess Elementary Principal Michael Newton had his last day of school Friday as the longest-tenured principal in the history of the Abilene Independent School District is set to retire next month.
Newton began his career in education as a teacher at Cooper High School in 1976. He eventually rose to an administrative role at Cooper, but further down the line moved to Clack and Madison Middle Schools before being promoted to principal of Dyess Elementary School – a position he’s held for 14 years.
“The last 14 years have been a real blessing,” said Newton. “I think what probably added more years to my career [was] being around these younger children.”
In June, once Newton finishes out his final contracted day as principal, he will officially enter retirement; however, the AISD won’t be without the Newton name in the district.
“My son is following in my footsteps. He is the principal over at Madison,” said Newton.
Newton and his son Joshua spent the past school year serving as principals at their respective campuses – an unusual event that made Newton’s final year as an educator very special.
“This is the only year we’ll have together as principals. It’s been fun to watch him grow,” said Newton.
“I’ve watched the things that he’s done and so for me [this] is a chance to put all of that into practice and put all that knowledge he’s given me into use and see if I can just try to accomplish some things he has,” said Joshua Newton.
Chad Drake, the instructional specialist at Mann Middle School, will be taking over as principal at Dyess Elementary once Newton’s retirement officially begins.