Dennis Penton, the North Pike superintendent who won approval for a $11 million bond issue to expand all three campuses and construct a fourth, is retiring at the end of the school year.

Penton told the school board of his decision after its meeting Thursday night and confirmed it on Monday.

“It’s just time,” he said, noting that his education career has lasted 31 years, including the last seven at North Pike.

His final year will be a memorable one, with schools having to navigate any number of challenges brought on by the coronavirus.

In addition to making substantial building improvements and expansions under Penton, North Pike has worked its way up to a B rating on the state accountability system, one of few school districts in Southwest Mississippi to achieve that level.

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