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Gary Waters retiring from Hamilton County Schools

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Gary Waters Gary Waters
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

One of Hamilton County schools' longest-running administrators is calling it a career after almost 40 years of building and maintaining school buildings.  Gary Waters, assistant superintendent for auxiliary services, will retire on June 30.  

In a memo to Superintendent Rick Smith, Waters wrote, "It is with a mixture of excitement on entering another phase of life and sorrow for leaving a place I have loved for over thirty-nine years that I announce my retirement from Hamilton County Department of Education effective June 30, 2015.

To the administration, staff and elected officials of Hamilton County Department of Education and Hamilton County Government, I offer my heartfelt gratitude for allowing me the opportunity to serve our community and perform a job that allowed such personal satisfaction and growth."

In a 2010 recognition of Waters' work, Hamilton County Commissioners presented him with this proclamation:

"Since 1976, Gary Waters, assistant superintendent for auxiliary services, has been one of the most dependable, loyal and reliable employees of Hamilton County Schools.  He is in charge of almost eighty school buildings, as well as all other school district facilities that house central office workers, buses and maintenance workers.  He's responsible for keeping our students and teachers comfortable from the heat of August to the chill of January, while making the wisest use of a taxpayer-funded budget."

Since Waters joined the school district, he has overseen the construction of more than thirty brand new school buildings, supervising the expenditure of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.

That's in addition to renovations, additions and repairs to every school facility in the county, from new roofs to new gymnasiums, to new classrooms to new wings. In most cases, these massive projects have come in under budget, and ahead of schedule.

The 2010 proclamation continued, 

"He has worked under several superintendents, and with scores of School Board members and County Commissioners.  Without exception, he has always been held in the highest regard by his administrators and elected officials, who know Gary is a man of his word.  He is approachable, accessible, and has earned the trust of every citizen in Hamilton County.  One of the more common phrases among school officials is, "What would we do without Gary Waters?"  Hopefully we won't have to answer that question for a long time.

For Gary Waters' untiring work in the betterment of education for all the children of Hamilton County, we are proud to honor him as a Distinguished Citizen of Hamilton County."

Waters says he was proud of the cooperation he receives from School Board members and County Commissioners, pointing out that some $500 million in local tax money had been used to build and improve schools since the merger of city and county schools in 1997.

Waters' replacement will be named in late June, according to Supt. Smith

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