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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.’’

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