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Norton reflects on time at TUSD as he prepares for retirement
Tim Norton
After 37 years in public education, and 23 years with the Turlock Unified School District, eCademy Charter principal Tim Norton will be retiring at the conclusion of the 2022-23 school year (Photo contributed).

After 37 years in public education, with 23 of those serving in the Turlock Unified School District, eCademy Charter principal Tim Norton will be retiring at the end of the 2022-23 school year.

“After 37 years in public education, and our twins now college graduates and gainfully employed, I felt it was time to do a little more travelling, snow and water skiing, hiking, playing golf and reflecting on a wonderful educational career,” Norton said.

Norton notified the district of his plans to retire earlier this year, which led to current Turlock High principal Gabe Ontiveros to leave his position to take over for him beginning in July.

Norton’s first job for TUSD came in 2000 as a fifth-grade teacher at Cunningham Elementary School, a job that he believes was essential in making him the father and husband he is today.

“Spending the next seven years in the classroom allowed me to be the best dad ever to our new-born twins, Connor and Callie, and the best husband to my lovely wife, Laurie,” he shared.

In 2007, Norton became Cunningham’s principal before transitioning to Turlock Junior High School to serve as assistant principal in 2010. In 2017, when Ontiveros was named principal at Turlock High, Norton moved to eCademy Charter to assume his current role, where education is centered around technology-infused materials and assignments in order to better prepare students for post-secondary opportunities.

“[I have] found this site (eCademy) to be one of the most positive school cultures in TUSD, where students came to feel valued, respected and 100% appreciated,” Norton shared. “The staff at eCademy are the reason why the school is so important to the community and why the students, all of whom enjoy their educational experience. Everyone here is so incredibly dedicated to their position and will do anything possible to support a student or family.

“I can’t thank the staff enough for their support over the past six years, making my roll more enjoyable. The teamwork at eCademy is second to none, where the staff and teachers don’t hesitate to volunteer for a project or come to the aid of a student. I am very proud of the staff and their collective commitment to the school community,” he continued.

With just under three months left in the school year and in his professional career, Norton’s goals for his students remain the same.

“The most important final goal at eCademy is to graduate all seniors and help ensure that they are fully prepared for either entering college or the career path of their choice,” he said. “We have always stressed that students need to give nothing but their best.”

Giving nothing but the best is also something Norton hopes to do himself as he wraps up his time at the eCademy and looks towards a life in retirement. He also expressed confidence in Ontiveros to return as principal and continue to build on the progress of the past six years.

“I am going to miss this place,” he said. “But it is nice knowing that the staff and students will be in good hands with Mr. Ontiveros.”