Millard Superintendent announces retirement

After 33 years in Millard, Dr. Sutfin to retire at the end of the school year


Photo courtesy of Dr. Jim Sutfin

Dr. Jim Sutfin visits with students at Reader Elementary. Sutfin has worked in Millard Public Schools for 27 years and plans to retire at the end of this school year. “I came here the first year Millard West opened and I loved it,” Sutfin said. “In every stage of my career there was always someone motivating me to take it a step further. I am so grateful for my time here in Millard and I will never forget it.”

Miguel Paredes Reyes, MWHS Wildcat News co-Editor-in-Chief, co-Striv Executive Producer

In October of 2021, Millard Superintendent Dr. Jim Sutfin announced he would be retiring at the end of this school year.

Sutfin has been in education for the past 33 years. He began his career in Millard in 1995 as a Biology teacher in Millard West’s inaugural year. Even in his early years, Sutfin was very involved during his time as a Wildcat. He coached the track and field team, sponsored student council and was very involved in planning the curriculum as a teacher. So involved that it attracted multiple people higher up in the district and he was encouraged to seek a higher position in the district level. 

After just a few years at Millard West he became the assistant principal at Russell Middle School, a few more years down the road he was the principal at Central Middle School, and eventually in 2014 he reached the highest office in the district as the Superintendent. 

“While I was the assistant superintendent for human resources, my boss at the time came to me and told me he was retiring and told me to throw my name in,” Sutfin said. “It has been a blessing to be the superintendent from the school district that you graduate from. I look back and try not to be emotional about it, so many years in this business and this has been the most unbelievable ride.”

In Sutfin’s many years in the district, he has made many memories and connected with so many people. Specifically at Millard West he mentions people that influenced his career the most as former principal Dr. Richard Koloski, former assistant principal Steve Joekel, fellow science teachers Steve Skinner, Jim Johnston, Jay Carlson and all the other teachers that opened the building back in 1995, including history teacher Matthew Heys.

“As a staff we were all pretty close during that period because Millard West was brand new,” Heys said. “Whenever you’re opening a new building, the people that you do it with those first few years become kind of like an extended family.”

Even when he had already moved on from his time at Millard West the relationships he had built are still going strong.

“I really enjoyed working with Dr. Sutfin, we taught in rooms that were next to each other so we visited a lot,” social studies teacher Stacy Nimbs said. “He was a very personable guy and the students always loved him.

As the superintendent for the past eight years, he has been a huge advocate for the students especially recently in his response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While other school districts were leaning towards canceling all activity programs for the 2020-2021 school year, Sutfin stood strong and made it possible for sports teams, music groups and clubs to have their events while adding guidelines and protocols to do them safely.

Another thing he will remember the most were the interactions he had with students relating to snow days.

“I remember it was snowing like crazy and I was outside scooping off our driveway,” Sutfin said. “I came inside and my phone was blowing up with students tweeting about wanting a snow day. I looked at my wife and said that I was either going to have a lot of fun with this or I’m going to get fired. I tweeted back saying ‘Good news, Walmart has gloves and stocking hats on sale. Stock up now.’ And that began the whole snow day tweets era. And it was so much fun interacting with students.”

As his final days approach, he looks forward to his retirement and being able to spend more time with his family and have a much lighter workload.