April 24, 2015
State's Education Commissioner Announces Retirement
Robert Hammond will retire at the end of June
Today in an executive session with the State Board of Education, Colorado Education Commissioner Robert Hammond announced he will retire effective July 1.
Hammond, who has been with the Department of Education for seven years, was hired in 2008 as its Deputy Commissioner and was later promoted by the State Board of Education to commissioner in 2011.
Hammond, who made his announcement during the state board's regularly scheduled legislative board meeting in Denver, said he had mixed emotions about making this decision, but that the timing was right so he could fully enjoy his retirement years.
"I came to this decision after a lot of thought and consideration," Hammond told the state board. "This is the right time for me as I want to make sure I make the most of my retirement while I'm able."
State Board of Education Chairwoman Marcia Neal noted the state's good fortune in having Hammond as the top education leader during the last four years.
"Colorado students and educators have been fortunate to have Commissioner Robert Hammond at the helm for the past four years," she said. "While not an 'educator' per se, there are few who could match his passion for education. This was exemplified by his constant efforts to provide a high level of support for school districts and their students."
Hammond was often noted for his ability to attract and retain an impressive group of leaders. Legislators, business leaders and other groups that have worked with the department have, over the years, publicly praised the quality of staff with which he surrounded himself.
"Robert was always able to attract talented staff wherever he was," Neal said. "It was one of his hallmarks, and he really relied on their expertise to help guide and propel the organization.
"We will miss him greatly, but can only wish him our best in a well-deserved retirement," Neal concluded.
Hammond said he announced his retirement now in order to give the state board time to develop a plan for selecting his replacement and allow for a smooth transition. Hammond will turn 65 in mid-June and said he looks forward to spending more time with his wife who is already retired.