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JUST IN: ACPS to announce new superintendent on Thursday

ACPS headquarters and clock (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

The permanent superintendent of Alexandria City Public  Schools will be announced by the School Board on Thursday night, ACPS announced today.

While their identity has not been revealed, the successful candidate was chosen after a national search that started last November in consultation with Nebraska-based McPherson & Jacobson, L.L.C Executive Recruitment and Development, according to ACPS.

The announcement will be made at 6:30 p.m.

Alexandria’s 16,000 student-strong school system has been led by interim Superintendent Melanie Kay-Wyatt since the beginning of this school year. Kay-Wyatt took over after the resignation of Superintendent Gregory Hutchings, Jr., and she managed ACPS through post-pandemic educational issues, an increase in juvenile crime and the ACPS budget process.

Alexandria has seen more than a handful of superintendents over the last 15 years. Prior to Hutchings, Lois Berlin was the interim superintendent for a year. Berlin took the helm after the retirement of Superintendent Alvin Crawley, who had the job from 2013 to 2017. Crawley took over after Superintendent Morton Sherman, who led ACPS for five years after the departure of Superintendent Rebecca Perry in 2008.

“The Board wants the successful candidate to assume the responsibilities of the position on or before July 1, 2023,” according to the job posting by McPherson & Jacobson.

The closing date to apply for the position was in February and the School Board conducted interviews in March.

The qualifications for the position, according to the job posting, are below:

The candidate must have the background, skills, and abilities essential for excellence in educational leadership to include high expectations, being data driven and maintaining a culture of accountability throughout the division.

Experience as a superintendent or in a central office leadership position in a diverse, suburban/urban district to include classroom teaching experience is required.

Doctorate and Virginia Superintendent certification – or eligibility for it – are required as is a preference for living in the city of Alexandria.

The Board is seeking a candidate with the following desired characteristics:

  1. An educational leader with a proven track record of leading teams to implement equitable practices that result in improved academic achievement in a suburban/urban school division.
  2. A leader with experience in the successful development and implementation of a division-wide strategic plan with the understanding that the current plan must continue to be implemented with fidelity through 2025.
  3. A leader who builds consensus through collaboration resulting in trust and mutual respect throughout the division and the broader community.
  4. A steward of public resources with expertise in budget development, the ability to foster positive relationships with the city government officials and experience in carrying out capital projects.
  5. An effective communicator whose vision can be translated into practical terms for all stakeholders in the division and the broader community.
  6. A leader with the ability to identify staff’s potential and build capacity throughout the organization.