Franklin County Schools Superintendent Mark Church will retire at the end of the 2020 spring semester, ending a 34-year career as an educator, including 20 in the county school system.

At Monday’s school board meeting, he did not cite a specific reason for his retirement, even though his contract with the school system is not scheduled to end until June 2022. Church’s salary for the 2018-19 fiscal year was $138,823.

“I understand my retirement came early in the school year, but I’m not gone yet,” he said. His retirement takes effect Aug. 1, 2020.

His contract was renewed for four years in 2018 on a 5 to 1 school board vote, with member-at-large Penny Blue voting no.

Before becoming superintendent in 2012, he worked as the school system’s Director of Career and Technical Education.

He grew up in Franklin County, graduating from the high school in 1982. Prior to returning to Franklin County, he served as the industrial cooperative training teacher coordinator for Rockingham County and Lynchburg.

Church has a part time position as an adjunct professor with James Madison University. He said in a statement that he will continue to teach at JMU.

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