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McKinley retiring after memorable career

January 28, 2002

McKinley retiring after memorable career



By SCOTT BUTKI
scottb@herald-mail.com


Bill McKinley, the Washington County Board of Education's executive director of support services, said Saturday he has many good memories of his 36 years with the education system.

Many of those memories - of students, teachers and administrators he has worked with - have been coming back to him in the last few days since he announced he was retiring from the school district, effective July 1.

The School Board approved McKinley's retirement at its Tuesday meeting. McKinley is second in command to Interim Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan.

McKinley, 57, of Williamsport, has worked for the district or been a student in the district almost his entire life. He was born and raised in Washington County, graduating from Williamsport High School in 1962.

He started working for the School Board in the fall of 1967 as a special education teacher at South Hagerstown High School. He said he was the head coach of basketball, football and soccer.

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In 1980, he became the assistant principal at North Hagerstown High School. He later served as principal at E. Russell Hicks Middle School and Williamsport High School.

He had some concerns about the Williamsport work, since he became the boss for four teachers who had once been his instructors, but that worked out fine, he said.

McKinley became the director of high schools in 1994 and later also became responsible for secondary schools.

For the last four years, he has been executive director of support services, in charge of the Budget and Finance, Transportation, Facilities Management and Food Services departments, he said.

"It has been a great career," he said. "The school system has been good to me."

Some of his most rewarding moments were as a teacher and coach but his other jobs also had special moments, he said.

He said he enjoys seeing how the education system has helped children learn. "When you see kids graduate, you think, 'Maybe I helped a little bit,'" he said.

McKinley said he has loved working with great teachers and administrators.

What kept him with the same employer for so many years?

He said he felt he was a "reasonably good" teacher and principal so he kept doing what he knew.

He said education has had some major changes during his 36-year career, including the start of state testing, more emphasis on computers and technology and special education students sharing classes with other students.

While McKinley may be retiring from the Washington County Board of Education system, he said that doesn't mean he is going to just stay home and paint his garage.

He said he may get another job, perhaps education-related.

He said he chose this year to retire because he is young enough to try to do something different for a while.

He will continue to do volunteer work, including teaching Sunday School at Williamsport United Methodist Church and working with the Boy Scouts of America.

His wife, Kathy, is a guidance counselor at Washington County Technical School.

McKinley said he loves Washington County, particularly for its mountains and streams, where he can indulge in his hobbies of hunting and fishing, but also because it is close to large cities.

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