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Palm Beach County School Chief Steps Down

Palm Beach County School District

After nearly three years leading the country's 11th-largest school district, Palm Beach County's schools superintendent says he is stepping down.

E. Wayne Gent announced today that he won't be renewing his contract when it expires at the end of June.  That means his replacement will be Palm Beach County's fourth school superintendent in as many years.

Gent was hired in 2012, after the ousting of longtime superintendent Art Johnson and a brief interim term by a retired business executive.

In a written statement, Gent says he is proud of the fact that Palm Beach County's high school graduation rate is now higher than the state average. The county also saw growth in the number of A- and B-rated schools last year.

But during Gent's tenure, Palm Beach County's state rating as a district fell to a "B" grade after eight straight years of "A" ratings.

Gent was mum about exactly why he's leaving the job, saying only that he will pursue "other professional and personal opportunities."

A Palm Beach County School District spokesperson says school board members will be meeting soon to decide whether to launch a national search for Gent's replacement.