Dr. Mike Buck, Superintendent of Rome City Schools, announced that he will retire from his position effective September 30, 2016. Buck said in a news release, “After much prayer and many heartfelt conversations with family members and close friends, I have made the difficult decision to retire from Rome City Schools effective at the end of the work day September 30, 2016.  The decision is particularly difficult because of my deep respect for the entire Rome City Schools family.  The students, parents, administrators, teachers, staff members, and board members are truly outstanding!”

Buck added that the decision to retire is “driven by the immediate and pressing needs of my family”.

In an emailed statement Buck said, “As an adult, my priorities begin with my faith followed closely by my family and close friends, and thirdly my career.  Over the past few years, my extended family has experienced a plethora of challenges.  My mother fell and broke her shoulder.  On her first night back from the hospital, she fell and broke her hip. Her mobility has been greatly limited.  My brother, who lived in the same area as my mom, was able to provide her with much support. He tragically died of a massive heart attack this past November.  My mother lost her oldest son and her closest support.”

“My mother-in-law passed away suddenly with pancreatic cancer.  Since that time, my father-in-law has faced extensive health complications. He experienced congestive heart failure and battled back from a stroke.  He has also been fighting prostate cancer.  This past week, he was again admitted to the hospital and is now in stage 5 of chronic kidney disease.  The doctors have informed us that he is in need of dialysis.”

“My mom and my father-in-law are the only remaining grandparents my children have.  They are the only parents my wife and I have remaining on this earth.  Both of them sacrificed much for us.  They now need us.  We can’t possibly provide them the support they need from over 200 miles and four hours driving time away.”

“Though I am distraught at the thought of leaving the school system I committed approximately sixteen years of my career to, I know in my heart that my mom and my father-in-law need and deserve the support my wife and I can provide.  My prayer is that my children will have many years left to forge those lasting and loving relationships with their grandparents.”

“Rome City Schools is an outstanding school system.  Our recent visit by AdvancED confirmed that the system is in excellent shape. The Board of Education is committed to building upon our past success.  Our graduation rate has reached an all-time high.  The Board is going to work closely with the Georgia School Boards Association to identify candidates for the position of superintendent.  It is likely that an interim superintendent will be selected to guide the system while the Board of Education works through the selection process for the next Superintendent of Rome City Schools.”