Superintendent  Search  2022
Superintendent Search
by Jim Hopkins, school board member
image missingIn January, Dr. Cecil Snead, Orange County Superintendent of Schools, announced his intention to retire on June 30, 2022. Dr. Snead has been superintendent since 2018 when he replaced Dr. Brenda Tanner on her retirement. I want to thank Dr. Snead for making his retirement announcement early, as it gives the school board adequate time to search for a replacement.

One of the most important jobs of the school board is selecting a new superintendent. In February, the school board hired the Virginia School Board Association (VSBA) to assist in the superintendent search. VSBA is a private, non-stock corporation based in Charlottesville that provides services to support local school boards. The school board has used VSBA's search service to hire our last three superintendents, and the results have been outstanding. VSBA's first words of advice were to take our time and get it right. To that end, the school board has established a timeline for the search.

Some of the search happens behind closed doors, but the procedures we follow are very public. In the first week of March, the school board conducted an online survey to acquire input from parents, staff, students, and the community on the most desirable qualifications for the new superintendent. At a school board meeting on March 7, there was a public hearing to receive additional input from the public. The board concluded the meeting by approving a job description. The job opening was posted the next day, and the applications process ended on April 8.

For privacy reasons, I cannot reveal the names of the applicants, but I can say we have 22 applications, and four of these applicants are experienced superintendents. Attracting an experienced superintendent to Orange County would be in the best interest of our students, our employees, and the public. The next step will be the interview process, and I anticipate the school board will announce their selection by the end of May. The new superintendent will begin work on July 1.