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Cayton resigns as UHS principal

February 22, 2019
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Dysart Reporter

Union High School Principal Jim Cayton will resign at the end of the current school year, with his retirement approved by the Union school board on Monday, Feb. 18.

"When you turn 55, you start thinking about retirement and what you want to do next, but that was around when I was hired here at Union," Cayton said. "I want to look at other areas in life and feel we've accomplished some great things over the years here. I've been going to school for 53 years, so it's time for something else.

Cayton was hired as principal at Union in 2016 after spending his career at Mid-Prairie CSD in Wellman as a principal and social studies teacher. A 1980 La Porte City High graduate, Cayton and his wife Kris moved back to the area to be around family. While he has not major plans for retirement, Cayton does hope to get a little more golf in and continue to work in some capacity.

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"I will miss the relationships I have here and not seeing these folks every day," Cayton said. "I like to go to a lot of events and activities, and I plan to keep doing that. That daily connection with the students and staff will be missed."

Cayton will finish the 2018-19 school year at Union before his retirement. Early retirement benefits are currently not being offered at Union CSD.

"[Cayton] has done a lot of great work at the high school and helped the whole district with a fresh, knowledgeable outside perspective instructionally," Union Superintendent Travis Fleshner said. "He will definitely missed, but I feel he'll be active in the community and keep contributing in some way. We're happy with the time he's been here."

Fleshner believes the hiring process will be similar to what was accomplished in hiring Cayton several years ago. Community and school administrators will form interview teams for three to five finalists with a hire anywhere from late March to early April.

"It's an important job like so many positions here, so we will take the necessary time to hire the next leader of Union High School," Fleshner said. "This is more of a March timeline because that falls in line with the hiring season. We plan to use committee groups and administrative team to work with the interview process."

While his return to La Porte City was short by his own admission, Cayton states he is grateful for the opportunity to come back as an administrator. Cayton's involvement in the hiring will be minimal, but he has hopes for the next principal to continue positive trends for the district.

"I hope the successor will continue to put learning first," Cayton said. "It's the core of what we do everyday. We always want to prepare students for the work world, college or the military and give them the tools to succeed.



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