Superintendent Steve Webb (photo by Katharine Kimball)
VPS Superintendent Steve Webb has informed the board of directors of his plan to retire from the district on July 1, 2022, after serving in his current role for 14 years. He joined the 23,400-student district in 2006 as deputy superintendent and superintendent successor and was appointed superintendent in 2008.
With Webb’s leadership, VPS has earned state and national recognition for several major achievements such as:
- Passage of five operating levies and two technology levies with voter approval ranging from 60% to 71%—generating more than $650.6 million in local funds (VPS has a 56-year record of continuous support for district levies);
- School facility investments—totaling approximately $563 million from a voter-approved bond measure, a state smaller class-size grant and the state construction assistance program;
- A 1:1 technology initiative—providing digital learning devices to all students and teachers in grades K-12 along with a wireless network infrastructure to connect them;
- Family-Community Resource Centers—mobilizing partner services and financial assistance to support poverty-affected children in 20 schools;
- New educational choices—including Vancouver Innovation, Technology and Arts (VITA) Elementary, Vancouver iTech Preparatory, Fort Vancouver Center for International Studies and Spanish and Mandarin language learning programs; and
- A dramatic increase in the on-time graduation rate—improving from 72% in 2011 to 85% in 2019—and an extended graduation rate of 89%.
In addition, Webb was selected as the 2016 Washington State Superintendent of the Year and was one of four finalists for the national award. He also has received a long list of other professional accolades including the 2020 Effie H. Jones Humanitarian Award from the American Association of School Administrators.
“I am immensely grateful to this community, our partners, school board members past and present, and all of our incredible employees over the years who have made a difference in the lives of children,” said Webb. “Together, we have left an indelible legacy, transformed students’ lives, built new partnerships and strengthened our community.”
The early announcement of Webb’s retirement is consistent with past superintendent transitions in VPS and is intended to give the board ample time to identify and name a successor.
“The board appreciates Dr. Webb’s extraordinary record of dedication, service and contribution to Vancouver Public Schools,” said Wendy Smith, board president. “Rarely do superintendents of large, urban districts have such a long tenure. We are so fortunate to have benefited from Dr. Webb’s caring leadership and enduring commitment to our community.”