Santa Maria Joint Union High School District Superintendent Mark Richardson will retire at the end of the school year after seven years of service, a district spokesman said.

Richardson officially notified staff of his decision Friday, said Kenny Klein, district public information officer.

A special board of education meeting is scheduled Tuesday at the district office to discuss his departure.

Klein said a nationwide search to replace Richardson will be conducted by Leadership Associates.

“The district is on the right path,’’ said Richardson, who has 31 years in education, including 11 years as a superintendent. “We have an effective board, excellent leadership and a committed staff. We are in a great position moving forward. I want to thank everyone for making my time here worthwhile.’’

Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction John Davis will serve as the acting superintendent until a permanent replacement is chosen.

“I want to thank Dr. Richardson for his many years of service,’’ Davis said. “He has been a friend and a colleague for many years, and I have learned much from him. His efforts have put this district on a progressive path forward, and it is my goal to sustain that forward progress as we move into the future.’’


Lee Central Coast Newspapers associate editor Mike Hodgson covers Santa Barbara County government and events and issues in Santa Ynez Valley. Follow him on Twitter @MHodgsonSYVNews.