May announces retirement

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Dallas County Schools Superintendent Wayne May announced on Monday his retirement from the school system, effective Friday, July 1, 2005.

The announcement came as a surprise to school board members, who were told of May’s decision during a work session prior to the Monday night board meeting at the Dallas County Center for Technical Studies.

“It has been a pleasure working with Mr. May,” said School Board Chairman Ollis Grayson. “I appreciate the job he has done and I can’t thank him enough.”

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May said he had been contemplating his retirement for the past two months before finally making the decision to go before the board.

In a prepared statement before the board, May said he had discussed his retirement with his Administrative Assistant Freeman Waller and his family.

“After much consideration and prayer, I feel that I have made the right decision,” May said in the statement.

The decision, he said, had to do with various personal reasons, including his health.

This summer May underwent open-heart surgery after suffering from a serious heart attack.

“I want to thank the Dallas County board of Education for having the trust and faith in my ability to carry this system to the next level,” he said. This was never more evident than last spring when (the board) asked if I would consider accepting a contract extension.”

In April 2004, the board extended May’s contract, which was set to expire this June, two more years and increased his salary from $96,000 a year to $108,000 a year.

“Since my contract extension, there have been circumstances that neither I nor the board could have foreseen.

Because I these circumstances, I believe it is in the best interest of my family and me to retire,” May said.

May spent his entire 32-year career in education with the county school system.

He began as a teacher at Valley Grande Elementary School and eventually moved up the ranks to become assistant principal and later principal at Dallas County High School.

May was appointed to the job of superintendent in June of 1991, inheriting a system that was plagued with debt.

“He couldn’t get us out of debt, but he didn’t get us any deeper in debt,” Grayson said.

All of the school board members had nothing but praise for the work May had done as superintendent.

“It has been a joy working with you,” board member Bill Minor told May during the meeting. “I always know where you are coming from.”

Board member Roy Edwards said May made some great accomplishments while trying to relive the school system of its debt.

“He got this board out of some troubled financial times,” Edwards said. “He has tried to keep this ship afloat.”

The board will immediately begin a search to find May’s replacement.

“I am prepared to offer my services to the board to immediately begin the selection process for the appointment of a new superintendent,” May said. “Our children deserve nothing less than the very best.”