Lake Forest says thanks to Boyd

Freddie Young, from left, volunteer coordinator at Lake Forest Elementary School, Alachua County Superintentent Dr. Dan Boyd and Diane Hill, principal of Lake Forest Elementary School, during a retirement reception hosted Tuesday at Lake Forest.

AIDA MALLARD/Special to the Guardian
Published: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 3:17 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 3:17 p.m.

Alachua County schools superintendent Dr. Dan Boyd is retiring after more than 40 years of service to education in Florida.

And Tuesday, Lake Forest Elementary School said thanks for all of the good years with an outpouring of love and respect at a reception/luncheon.

"You're loved in this community," said Freddie Young, volunteer coordinator at Lake Forest.

"We want to show you our appreciation for all you've done for our school and our district," Hill said. "It has been a pleasure working with you."

Boyd, 72, expressed his gratitude to Hill and Young and to everyone in attendance. "It's heartwarming that you did this," Boyd said. "After nine-and-a-half years as superintendent, it's time to move on."

More than 30 people, including Lake Forest teachers and staff, friends and admirers, attended the reception held at the school at 4401 SE 4th Ave. Margaret Dennison, first lady of Compassionate Outreach Ministries, transformed the school's volunteer room into an elegant site for a luncheon, organized by Young, and featuring a menu of chicken wings, meatballs, various salads, crackers, fruit, pound cake and punch.

Bishop Larry Dennison, pastor of Compassionate Outreach Ministries, offered a prayer and also shared his memories of Boyd's kindness to him as a student at Gainesville High School during the early years of integration in Alachua County.

Lois Johnson, senior clerical staff at Lake Forest, offered greetings to Boyd from all Lake Forest employees.

"Dr. Boyd, you're beginning a journey to enjoy the fruits of your labor," Johnson said.

Jackie Johnson, spokesperson for the school district, provided via email an overview of Boyd's career in education. Boyd became superintendent of Alachua County schools in July 2004 following a five-year tenure as associate commissioner of the Florida High School Athletic Association. He has served as teacher, assistant principal and principal.

Under his leadership, GHS developed the district's first career academy magnet program, the first pre-collegiate program for minority students and other academic, extracurricular and parent involvement programs. Boyd left GHS to serve as Alachua County's assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, where he worked until 1999.

When asked what he plans to do during retirement, Boyd said he plans to read a lot, visit historical sites in the U.S. and abroad, hunt and fish. He also plans to spend time with his six grandchildren. Two live in Gainesville, two live in Norfolk, Va., and two live in New Zealand.

During his time in the school district, Boyd said he derived energy from the people around him. "The great colleagues, students and parents," he said.

"You, the teachers, are the true heroes in the district for the great job you do with the students," Boyd said. "I'm thankful for the opportunity I've had. Thank you all."

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