Webb announces plans to retire at end of 2021-22 school year

Ali and Webb

Quincy School Board president Sayeed Ali, left, talks with Superintendent Roy Webb before the September meeting of the Quincy School Board. David Adam

QUINCY — Quincy Superintendent Roy Webb sent an email to faculty and staff with the Quincy School District at noon Friday indicating his plans to retire at the end of the 2021-22 school year.

“My wife and I have decided it is time to retire at the end of this school year,” he wrote. “We have loved being a part of the Quincy community. After the new construction of schools, I believed that QPS was on a track to become the best school district in Illinois. COVID has slowed us down a bit. We have an outstanding school district and community. You deserve the absolute best superintendent. As I have throughout my time at QPS, I take responsibility for all that takes place in QPS. I have made a few mistakes over the last six years, but the support I have received from our Blue Devil Family was incredible, even when mistakes were made.

“Our district is in a good place and has great leaders and an amazing and caring staff. Your school central office leadership team is a special group. They are well prepared to lead this district for many years. They are bright, understand school dynamics, are experts in their areas, they care about our people, the district, and the community. Your principals and directors are at the tops in their field. Your staff is outstanding and a great group of dedicated professionals at all levels. Facilities are world class. Schools have come through transitions and are strong and resilient teams. With the right superintendent selection, this team will flourish.

“The school board is the best I have worked with. They have taken on the role as a school board, which is hard to do in a small community. They have supported me and our team 100%. They have built a strategic roadmap, changed this district and the community and moved both in a very positive direction. The community and business community are very supportive of the schools and education.

“The timing of my retirement will be up to the board of education. A superintendent search can be quite a process. It could take much of the school year. Many candidates may be present superintendents who could not leave their district until June of next year. We also have a few excellent internal candidates. I will continue to work hard for our staff, our community and our children until a top-notch replacement can be selected and placed into the position.

“This has been an amazing job. I have had a blast leading QPS. Academic growth, new buildings, renovations, transitions, negotiations, budget cuts, referendum, pandemic planning, in-person learning, remote learning, media, social media, communication, discipline issues, personnel issues, parent concerns, equity issues, finance issues, quarantining, and masks have kept us busy. I am not overworked. Most of the real work is done by others. I am a typical superintendent. I am good at my job, but there are potential superstar replacements.

“Even though I enjoy my job, my retirement day will not be a sad day in the Webb house. I have been in education 33 years. I was in the Army 36 years. Most of that time, I have been in leadership positions that demanded a 24 hour a day/seven days a week leadership role. Retirement will give me a little time to relax, enjoy my family and catch my breath. At my grave, it will not say, “Great superintendent and soldier.” I am hoping it says “Great husband, father and grandfather.” 

“Thank you to our board, the community, our staff, and our outstanding Blue Devils for my time in Quincy.

“By the way, I sent this out a little late today in honor of my friend, Sayeed. He wanted to be on the back nine when it went out.

Respectfully, Roy.”

Sayeed Ali, president of the Quincy School Board, posted a response on his Facebook page and titled it, “On behalf of the Quincy School Board.”

“Finding the right words to express what Superintendent Roy Webb has meant to the Quincy Public School District and community will be nearly impossible. He has been able to transform the district’s financial health, leadership, communication, community and parent confidence. He has accumulated a six-year resume that would stand up to any superintendent in America.

“If this board could choose what Roy’s legacy will be in Quincy, we don’t think our beautiful buildings, budget surplus or the amazing pipeline of leaders he has developed for this district would be the focus. Instead, we would shine a spotlight on Roy’s strong ethics. Character, integrity, accountability and honesty are traits we all want from our community leaders, and Roy surpassed our expectations of these qualities. His compassion and dedication is contagious. It inspires people around him, including this board.

“A typical work week for Roy is something that most of us wouldn’t be able to comprehend. He views every minute as an opportunity to support and encourage our children to become great. Watching Roy focus all of his time on our students and this community has been remarkable to watch. The past six years was a pivotal period for QPS, and we have a tremendous amount of confidence in our district’s growth and success moving forward. We know we’re positioned for excellence because of the culture Roy has created over his time at QPS.

“We have been working with Roy on this transition for over a year, and while we know his particular shoes will be impossible to fill, we’re extremely happy for Roy and Trisha. In our opinion, no one has earned retirement more than him and his wife. Roy served our community with the same love and dedication he demonstrated while serving our country. The Quincy Public Schools Board of Education has had the opportunity to work alongside Superintendent Webb for the past six years, and we truly feel it’s been an honor that will stay with us for the rest our lives.

“We would like to ask Quincy to join us in congratulating Roy on his upcoming retirement and thank him for showing our community the respect and love we appreciate in our leaders. We feel he’s the best that’s ever done it!”

The Quincy School Board voted in March 2017 to extend Webb’s contract to June 30, 2022.

Webb was announced as Quincy’s superintendent in October 2015 and started work Jan. 1, 2016. He replaced Steve Cobb, who retired in June 2015 after serving just two years.

Webb, 59, came to Quincy from Canton (Ill.) Union School District 66, where he was the superintendent for 6 1/2 years. He previously was a superintendent in the Chadwick-Milledgeville School District. Webb also has worked for other school as a principal, coach, athletic director and teacher. Webb also served as a brigadier general Iowa Army National Guard.

Webb, an Illinois native who grew up in the Quad Cities area, graduated from high school in Davenport, Iowa. He earned a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and education specialist’s degree from Western Illinois University. His first job was as an eighth-grade English teacher in 1991 in Aledo, Ill.

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