HERNANDO — Milton Kuykendall, superintendent of DeSoto County Schools for the past 12 years, will retire when his term expires in December 2015.
The superintendent in DeSoto County is an elected position. Kuykendall, 67, said in a statement yesterday he announced his retirement now to allow plenty of time for anyone wanting to run for the office.
“As superintendent for the last 12 years, I have accomplished every campaign promise I made,” Kuykendall said.
Most school superintendents nationwide are appointed by school boards, but many in the South, including DeSoto County and many other Mississippi districts, are elected by voters. Kuykendall has been a strong advocate of elected superintendents as the debate has intensified in recent years over making the position appointed in all Mississippi districts.
During Kuykendall’s tenure, the DeSoto district grew into the state’s largest, with more than 33,000 students in 42 schools countywide. Eighteen of the schools were opened while Kuykendall was superintendent.
Before being elected to the post, Kuykendall was a principal and basketball coach who won three state championships.
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