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Longtime WM educator to retire

Adams calling it a career after 37 years with district

West Memphis School District One of the mainstays in West Memphis schools has announced his retirement after 37 years in the local district.

Gary Adams, assistant superintendent, will retire at the end of June, ending a 43-year career in education. 'Working in the West Memphis School District has been an amazing trip,' Adams said. 'I have had the opportunity to work with wonderful, caring and dedicated principals, teachers, staff, students and parents. My incredible co-workers in the Central Office have also been very supportive in our endeavors to make our district the best that we can.'

Adams came to the WMSD as the principal of Faulk Elementary, where he stayed for 13 years. He was then hired to be the Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education, where he has been for the last 24 years.

'With every educational position I have had, I didn't want to give it up,' Adams added. 'When I taught, I wanted to teach forever.

When I was a principal, I wanted to be a principal forever. And when I became the assistant superintendent, I wanted to do this forever. I have enjoyed and loved every minute of the 43 years. Doing what I could to make our students the best has always been my overall goal. There is still more to do, but it is time to pass the torch to a very qualified and dedicated individual.'

A Northeast Arkansas native, Adams attended school in Newport, Hoxie, Walnut Ridge, Russell, Bradford and Bald Knob.

He is a 1967 graduate of Newport High School and Arkansas State University.

Adams said he wanted to be a teacher at a young age. 'I would somehow always be able to have a piece of chalk so I could use it to write on the walls at home and use my younger siblings as my students,' Adams said. 'They were rowdy at times, but somehow we would get through the lesson that I insisted they learn. Of course, I had to wash the chalk off the walls so my mom wouldn't know. I knew before I ever completed grade school that I wanted to make a difference and teach. I have never regretted that decision and would go into the field again if I had it all to do over.'

Adams said the memorable moments are too many to single out for just one.

'Trying to recall any one moment in my career is very difficult,' he said.

'Every day in this career from the very beginning has had its own new awakenings

and surprises. I’ve

laughed, I've cried, I've shared progress and success with those around me.

Every single experience that I have gone through, whether it was upbeat or a disappointment, I would always ask myself, 'What can I learn from this experience to be a better administrator and how can I make it better for those I encounter?''

By Billy Woods

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