Thomas Christie, longtime multicultural administrator for Lincoln Public Schools, is among a host of district officials and principals retiring at the end of the school year.
Christie, who has worked for the district for 43 years, was a sociology and history teacher at Lincoln High and student services coordinator at Lincoln Northeast before being named the multicultural school/community administrator in 1997. Before moving to the district office, he also was the wrestling coach and assistant football coach at Lincoln High.
When he moved to the district office, he replaced Radious Guess, who was the first person to be named to the position in 1990, when LPS officials decided race, culture and ethnicity needed their own program.
The district’s program built on work that had been going on for years — before providing multicultural education was mandated by the state — to make sure the district’s books and curriculum reflected the diversity of its student body.
Before he was named to the district post, Christie spent much of his professional life working to promote diversity. He helped recruit minority teachers to the district, co-developed a district team to build administrators' skills and founded the Rainbow Club at Lincoln High.
Four school principals also announced their retirements Friday:
* Morley Elementary Principal Molly Bates. She started working for LPS in 1989, teaching at Morley, Maxey and Hill elementary schools. She also taught at Lux Middle School and the former North Star Middle School. She served as elementary coordinator at Fredstrom Elementary, principal at Riley Elementary and has been principal at Morley for six years.
* Scott Middle School Principal Dave Knudsen. During his 27-year tenure with LPS he has held a variety of positions, including being a psychotherapist, team leader and coordinator of the district’s programs for students with severe behavior problems; coordinator and assistant principal at Cavett Elementary; and principal at Saratoga Elementary and Dawes and Scott middle schools.
* Lakeview Elementary Principal Scott Nelson. Nelson worked in a variety of special-education roles from 1991 through 2004. He was at Goodrich Middle School and Calvert and Elliott elementary schools. He left LPS from 2004-08 and returned to be a principal at McPhee Elementary. He has been Lakeview principal since 2011.
* Schoo Middle School Principal Bill Schulenberg. During his 35-year tenure at LPS, Schulenberg taught English and led a team of teachers at Goodrich and Scott middle schools, and was associate principal and principal at Schoo Middle School.
Several other district administrators also will retire:
* Kay Byers, supervisor of Elementary Personnel Services in Human Resources. Byers has worked for LPS for more than 40 years, starting as an accompanist at Lincoln Northeast. She has taught music at Arnold and Huntington elementary schools and vocal music at what was Dawes Junior High. She was an internship facilitator for the district and later supervisor of elementary personnel in human resources.
* Shari Styskal, director of budget. She has been budget director since 2010 and before that was the coordinator of budget. She also has worked as a business technical assistant in the maintenance and facilities department and provided clerical support at Northeast.
• Kevin Wibbels, a human resources recruiter. Wibbels also taught social studies and English at LPS, and was a counselor at Mickle Middle School, assistant principal at Irving Middle School and principal at Park Middle School.
Roper Elementary School Principal Tim Muggy will leave that position and work part-time as director of elementary education.