As the Classes of 2022 said goodbye last week, another graduate of sorts also moved on.

Dr. Kelly Bowers has announced her retirement after 12 years as superintendent of the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District (LVJUSD) and a total of 23 years in the district.

As the longest sitting superintendent in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, Bowers leaves behind a legacy of competent and compassionate leadership. Goal-oriented and student-driven, Bowers oversaw two parcel taxes during her tenure and led LVJUSD to be recognized five times as a Bay Area Top Workplace recipient; the only public school to receive that honor.

The job of a school superintendent is a difficult one — a role which simultaneously requires fortitude for those sometimes-difficult conversations, a pragmatic eye for seeing what needs to be done and an unwavering dedication to the students and their education.

Bowers has displayed all those traits and more during her time at LVJUSD. As a longtime member of the community where she and her husband Rob raised their two children, Bowers has been a familiar face in Livermore as both a parent and active resident who has conducted herself with professionalism and grace both within the school district and out.

With the news of her retirement last week, many of Bowers colleagues praised her accomplishments while mourning the loss of their stalwart leader.

“Dr. Bowers has been superintendent for almost the entire time my children have been in the school district,” said Board Trustee Kristie Wang. “We are privileged to have had her at the helm of LVJUSD for the past 12 years … We will miss her greatly.”

On that, we agree. As Bowers moves into the next phase of what will surely be a grand new adventure, the community thanks her for her impeccable service and years of dedication. We wish her well and look forward to seeing what she embarks on next. It will surely be something worth watching.