- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) - Fort Smith Public Schools Superintendent Benny Gooden is retiring, effective June 30.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/1VVuHot) reports the 71-year-old Gooden announced his retirement at Monday night’s school board meeting. Gooden says he has realized “there are other pursuits for me which the obligations of the job have prevented.” He also says age was a factor in his decision.

Gooden has led the district since August 1986.

Earlier this month, school board members voted against extending Gooden’s contract through 2019. School Board President Deanie Mehl calls Gooden a legend, adding that she hopes the vote didn’t factor into his decision.

Mehl says the board likely will develop a strategy to find Gooden’s replacement at its meeting on May 9.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com

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