Yakima Community Says Goodbye and Thank You to Superintendent Ben - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima Community Says Goodbye and Thank You to Superintendent Ben Soria

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YAKIMA, Wash.- After nine years in the Yakima School District, Superintendent Ben Soria is retiring. Students, teachers and the community said goodbye to him at the Yakima Convention Center.

Since Superintendent Soria started with the school district, much has changed. During his term, the drop out rate was improved, from 20 percent of students dropping out down to only seven percent. District employees say they will remember Superintendent Soria as a person who dedicated his career to students and their education.

"he'd come listen to kindergarteners reading, he'd show up and personally ask me what's going on with my building, talking to students, talk to teachers. He was involved at every level and at every school," said Phil Vasquez, the principal of Martin Luther Kind Jr. Elementary.

This year was a particularly hard year with budget cuts. In an interview earlier this year, Soria said he wanted to make sure teachers weren't let go. Yakima was one of the only districts in the county that was able to do this. With the school bonds just passing, Ben Soria says the Yakima School District has a strong foundation for success but that there's still more work to be done.

The new superintendent, Elaine Beraza, will begin her term July First.