Benicia Unified School District Superintendent Charles Young has announced that he will be retiring at the end of the school year, according to a message posted on the district’s website.

Young said that it was a “difficult” decision to retire after 35 years of public education service, the last seven of which was as superintendent in Benicia.

“My career as an educator has been profoundly gratifying and humbling,” he said. “I am profoundly grateful for each student I have taught, each teacher, principal, administrator, staff member of the many departments with a school district, and parent I have had the opportunity to work with.”

BUSD and the superintendent faced many challenges under Young’s watch, including an attempt last year to get a recall on the ballot to remove two school board trustees who supported COVID-19 safety measures, such as remote learning.

Recall supporters said the trustees “failed to represent their constituents” by denying students access to in-person learning. The recall never came to a vote because its supporters did not gather enough signatures.

“Being a school superintendent (or a school board member) at this time is a very demanding job, and subjects one to extreme criticism,” said Benicia Mayor Steve Young. “35 years is a long time to devote to a career, and I wish him well in his retirement.”

Young said that he trusts that the school board will do an exhaustive recruitment for Young’s replacement.

Katy St. Clair got her start in journalism by working in the classifieds department at the East Bay Express during the height of alt weeklies, then sweet talked her way into becoming staff writer, submissions editor, and music editor. She has been a columnist in the East Bay Express, SF Weekly, and the San Francisco Examiner. Starting in 2015, she begrudgingly scaled the inverted pyramid at dailies such as the Vallejo Times-Herald, The Vacaville Reporter, and the Daily Republic. She has her own independent news site and blog that covers the delightfully dysfunctional town of Vallejo, California, where she also collaborates with the investigative team at Open Vallejo. A passionate advocate for people with developmental disabilities, she serves on both the Board of the Arc of Solano and the Arc of California. She lives in Vallejo.