June 8, 2004
Scottsdale will say goodbye Thursday to the man who oversaw its schools during the "golden years."
William T. Randall, 72, superintendent of the Scottsdale Unified School District from 1973 to 1980, died of cancer May 28.
A service for the Sedona resident will be 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Chaparral Christian Church, 6451 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale.
The district underwent a dramatic decline in growth during Randall’s tenure, and 11 elementary schools were closed.
He also oversaw the transition from kindergarten through eighth-grade schools into a separate middle school system. Shortly after he left the district, Scottsdale High School closed.
Randall began his career as a teacher in Seattle. In 1988, he became the commissioner of education for Colorado, a position he held for a decade.
Former Scottsdale district governing board member Bob Usdane, a former state Senate president who recently ran for mayor, said the "soft-spoken and intelligent" Randall helped bring everyone together after a divisive time that began in the late 1960s. The district was expelling principals and enduring lawsuits and a teacher strike, Usdane said.
"He had the ability to bring stability and trust back," Usdane said. "I say the reason it was called the ‘golden years’ was because it finally was not only stable, but was fun to have kids in the district."
Randall is survived by his wife, Barbara, of Sedona; daughters Julie of Torrance, Calif., Linda of San Diego and Mary of Scottsdale; five granddaughters; a greatgranddaughter; and sister Rosalie.
The family asks that donations be made in Randall’s name to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 102454, Atlanta, GA 30368.