Marc Malone is hanging up his ball cap.
After 35 years of serving Oakdale Joint Unified School District, in a number of capacities, the District Superintendent officially announced his retirement during closed session of Monday night’s OJUSD Board meeting, May 10.
“It has truly been a pleasure to have him serve with all the outstanding professionals that represent OJUSD,” Board President Barbara Shook said during the public announcement shortly after the start of the 6:30 p.m. Public Meeting.
Through an emotion-filled voice, Shook shared while Malone had been aptly preparing the board regarding his retirement for the past few years, she personally felt they had more time.
“After 35 years it took me a while but my work is complete, thank you,” Malone stated to the board following Shook’s sentiments.
The OJUSD board president then announced to the board as well as to the at-home viewing audience that during the same closed session the board had made the decision to appoint Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, Dr. David Kline into the position of OJUSD Superintendent. He will take over the position effective July 1, 2021.
“The board is confident that Dr. Kline will continue with outstanding leadership for the district,” Shook stated, adding that Kline’s appointment should help make for a smooth transition.
Tuesday morning, Superintendent Malone echoed Shook’s thoughts about his successor, stating he felt Kline was both “qualified and capable” of leading the district forward
“I’ve been at this for 35 years in this district,” Malone said via telephone interview with The Leader, noting that 32 of the 35 he was head football coach, site administrator or district administrator. “That’s a good long stretch. As we look at the finality of my career and the finality of getting kids back in school full time, five days a week in a traditional format, that really allowed me to kind of conclude my work for the district and for the community. I’m pleased with the feeling that my work is done and I’m pleased with the succession plan for the betterment of the district.”
Malone shared that while COVID was a small piece of his 35-year tenure with Oakdale schools, he would not consider it a defining point of his career.
“I wouldn’t want COVID being a defining point of my career. It’s certainly a portion of it. Certainly not the defining thing,” he stated candidly. “It was difficult to navigate. There were not a whole lot of decisions that we got to make. Pretty much told by County Public Health these are your options and we utilized the best flexibility we had with in those options to provide the most opportunity for our kids.”
He said making sure students got to return to the campus during the current school year was important to him.
“Just the fact that we could bring the kids back and give ‘em that, even if it was for one day. To give them that and send a really clear message to anyone who’s listening that kids should be in school,” Malone said. “That’s what we have said every step of the way. If one day now, gives them hope for a traditional school year next year, then that one day is well worth it.”
Malone will continue in his role as District Superintendent through the end of the traditional school year, which ends for administrative staff on June 30, 2021.