BEAUFORT — The county school system’s top leader announced Thursday that he plans to retire the end of this year.
Superintendent Mat Bottoms announced he will retire effective Tuesday, Dec. 31, according to a press release issued by the system’s Communications Director Tabbie Nance Thursday afternoon.
He made the announcement during a meeting with school principals and administrators in the school system’s central office.
In the release, Mr. Bottoms didn’t give a specific reason for his retirement, but said, “The decision to retire was not an easy one, but it is time. While in one sense I am saddened to leave our great school system, my years working with students, employees, parents and community leaders on behalf of our system have been gratifying. It has been an amazing journey and I am truly enriched for having taken the trip.”
The release did not say what plans are in place for finding Mr. Bottoms’ replacement or who will fill the interim position until a replacement is found.
Ms. Nance said those questions needed to be directed to County Board of Education Chairman Travis Day, who the News-Times has reached out to for comment.
A drop-in reception to honor Mr. Bottoms will be held from 4-6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10 at the school system’s central office in Beaufort. The reception is open to the public. A short program and presentation will take place at 5 p.m.
Mr. Bottoms said he felt it was important to make his plans known to administrators and principals before making a public announcement “because I have the utmost respect for the work they do as our school system’s leaders.”
He further said, “I would have liked to have met with every employee of our school system today and personally thank them for their dedication to provide the best education, facilities and services possible to our students. It has been my good fortune to have spent my entire career working in the Carteret County Public School System, and it has fulfilled my overwhelming passion to work for our students and staff.”
Mr. Bottoms has served his entire 39-year career in public education in Carteret County. He was the band director at Morehead City Middle and West Carteret High schools.
He was then named assistant principal at West Carteret High School. He became principal of Croatan High School when the school opened in 1998.
He was named a county school system assistant superintendent in 2010 and stayed in that position until 2017.
He became superintendent of the county school system in July 2017, replacing Superintendent Dr. Dan Novey, who retired that year.
Mr. Bottoms’ wife Gail taught mathematics in the Carteret County public school system for 30 years. Their two children, Tyler and Hayden, attended the Carteret County public school system. Tyler and his wife Paige live in Greenville and Hayden and her husband Marcus live in Iowa.
Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email Cheryl@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.