Patrick Kelly to retire from Lawrence school district

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Patrick Kelly, chief academic officer for Lawrence Public Schools, is retiring from his position, according to a news release from the district.

Kelly, also a Douglas County Commissioner, is completing his 25th year with the district and 31st year in Kansas public schools, according to the release.

“It has been a privilege to work with so many talented and dedicated colleagues and community members to help our scholars achieve more than they ever imagined,” Kelly said in the release. “I am immensely grateful to USD 497 for the opportunities to grow as an educator and leader within this organization.”

Kelly joined the district in 1999, teaching music and directing bands at West Junior High, Free State High School and Hillcrest Elementary. He served as district curriculum specialist of fine arts and career and technical education for six years, and then as associate principal at FSHS during the 2012-2013 school year, according to the release.

He guided planning of the Lawrence College and Career Center, which opened in 2015. He returned to central administrative roles in 2020.

“Patrick has played an integral role in the implementation of our district’s first comprehensive strategic plan in two decades and the alignment of all school improvement plans to our district’s strategic plan and to Kansas Education Systems Accreditation,” Superintendent Anthony Lewis said in the release. “He has made, and continues to make, outstanding contributions to the betterment of Lawrence Public Schools and our community at-large through his leadership, relationships, creativity, and innovation.”

Kelly’s retirement is effective June 30, pending school board approval.

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