Sibley-Ocheyedan superintendent to retire

Bill Boer is planning to retire from the position of Sibley-Ocheyedan School District superintendent at the end of the 2018-19 academic year on June 30. He has served in the role for six years and has worked in education for 35 years overall, all in N’West Iowa.

SIBLEY—Sibley-Ocheyedan’s top general is ready to march into retirement.

Bill Boer informed the Sibley-Ocheyedan School District Board of Education on Monday, Jan. 21, that he plans to retire from his role as superintendent at the end of the 2018-19 academic year.

“The time is right,” Boer said Thursday, Jan. 24. “There are a lot of good things going on here at Sibley-Ocheyedan.”

The 57-year-old referred to remodeling projects that were completed during the past year for Sibley-Ocheyedan, including:

  • The renovation of the school district’s outdoor area for track-and-field events on its Sibley campus.
  • The overhaul of the west part of Sibley-Ocheyedan’s parking lot on its Sibley campus.
  • The installation of new bleachers at the district’s softball field in Ocheyedan.

The district is moving forward with projects to upgrade the high school’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system and expand the building’s band room.

“Financially, the district’s in a very good position,” Boer said. “Those things are good, so it’s an opportunity really to hand the baton to somebody else. It’s a good baton to pass. I still like coming to work, but to me, go out when it’s a good feeling.”

The Rock Valley native has worked in the field of education for 35 years, starting in 1984-85 as a high school business teacher and the head boys basketball coach for the Arnolds Park School District.

After three years, the Arnolds Park and Milford school districts combined to form the Okoboji School District. Starting in 1987-88, he taught Okoboji Middle School computer courses for two decades.

“I really enjoyed the teaching part of the career because you’ve got relationships with students and built connections,” Boer said. “When you move from a classroom into administration, the relationships are different. The teacher-to-student relationship was really rewarding.”

After teaching for 23 years, he became the 7-12 principal for the South O’Brien School District in Paullina and served in that position for six years before moving on to Sibley-Ocheyedan, where he is in his sixth year as the superintendent.

Boer noted the differences between being in the classroom and being an administrator.

“You get to impact the whole building or the whole organization,” he said. “As opposed to when you’re teaching, your impact is just in your classroom.

“My dad always told me I should try to leave the place where I live and work better than where I found it,” Boer said. “I hope that’s true. I hope I left places better.”

Once he retires, he will have more time to spend with his wife, Aletha, and their 13-year-old daughter Rylie, an eighth-grader.

“That will free up a little time to make sure I’m at the events she’s involved in,” Boer said of their daughter.

He and his family are not planning to leave Sibley.

“We’re not going to move,” Boer said. “The community’s been very supportive and we like the community.”

His wife owns a business in Sibley called A+ Painting, which primarily paints the interiors and exteriors of residential properties

“If I actually have a free day, I could help my wife paint,” Boer said. “Here and there, it’d be fun.”

He mentioned that he has three possible part-time job opportunities that would keep him close to the field of education after he retires, but he did not disclose any details.

“The good Lord has something exciting in store,” Boer said. “I’m going to do something; I just don’t know what yet.”

He said Sibley-Ocheyedan plans to use a search firm to find a new superintendent. His final day on the job is set to be June 30 at the end of the 2018-19 academic year.

“The support from the community of Sibley and the community of Ocheyedan has been tremendous,” Boer said. “Frequently, they let me know that they were glad I was here, serving at the school. That’s really nice.”