A leadership conference sponsored by the Regional Educational Consortium of Rappahannock Community College’s Workforce and Community Development Center on April 20 featured a panel of exceptional school superintendents who shared programs and strategies designed to promote student success in public education, pre-K through grade 12. Seventy-five local, regional, state, and national educators met at The Tides Inn in Irvington to hear Dr. Rosa Atkins (Charlottesville, Virginia); the 2014 National Superintendent of the Year, Dr. Alberto M. Carvalho (Miami-Dade Florida); Shawn Kimble (Lauderdale County, Tennessee); and Virginia’s Superintendent of the Year, Dr. Patrick Murphy (Arlington). The conference was the final session of a year-long training program.
The four panelists answered questions both from the audience and from moderator Dr. H. Benjamin Kiser, executive director of the Virginia Association of School Superintendents. They focused on the importance of partnerships, early Pre-K/primary literacy programs, skills for making quick decisions, and “outside-the-box” thinking that can bring about changes to meet the educational needs of today’s students. “Success is possible for all students when student interests are acknowledged and developed,” stressed Dr. Carvalho.
“Invest in a culture change in your schools by making a difference, not excuses,” Superintendent Kimble added.
The current session was attended by Kathleen Beane, representing the Caroline County public school system; Kevin Newman, Colonial Beach schools; Scott Burckbuchler, Patrick DiSpirito, Angela Gross, Dr. Lori Harper, and Andrew Hipple, Essex County schools; Walter Clemons and Charles Wagner, Gloucester County schools; Christopher Bryant, Jennifer Collins, Angela Harris, Amanda Higgins, Kristine Hill, and Fanya Morton, King George County schools; Kim Allen and Stanley Jones, King and Queen County schools; Rachel Ball, Tara Garner, Mark Jones, and Beverly Young, King William County schools; Barbara Bohannon, Tara Booth, Virginia Booth, Jessica Davis, Mary Catherine Jones, Anna Kellum, Erskine Morgan II, and Steven Parker, Lancaster County schools; Jennifer Kent, Lauderdale County (Tennessee) schools; Alexis Foster, Albert Green, Andrew Greve, Lesley Hunley, Louise LeBron, Suzanne Sopko, and Nancy Welch, Mathews County schools; Thomas Taylor, Middlesex County schools; Byron Bishop and Dave Myers, New Kent County schools; Davis Roberts and James Smith, Richmond County schools; and David Daniel, Linda Minor, and Jeffery Smith, West Point schools. Dr. H. Benjamin Kiser represented the Virginia Association of School Superintendents.
RCC attendees included RCC-Workforce program manager Donald Bartholomay; RCC-Workforce administrative assistants Tina Bremar and Trish Homstead; history professor Matthew Brent; Culinary Arts program head Hatley Bright; Dr. Elizabeth H. Crowther, the college’s president; director of business and industry training Harriet Dawson; Adult Education regional specialist Sherrie Hill; Office of Career and Transition Services coordinator Marjorie Lampkin; public information manager Tom Martin; vice president of finance and administrative services Kim McManus; Warsaw Campus academic dean Patricia Mullins; professor emeritus Karen Newtzie; job development coordinator Constance Peay; vice president of workforce and community development Jason Perry; workforce coordinator David Valadez; and lead career coach Elizabeth Wampler.
Funding for the training program was provided by the Virginia Community College System Institute of Excellence Grant. The three previous sessions sponsored by the grant included “Professional Learning Communities,” presented by Dr. Wendy Krickovic of Virginia Commonwealth University; “Having Difficult Personnel Conversations,” with Mechanicsville’s William Parker; and “Conducting Instructional Formative Assessments,” with Dr. Vicki Wilson, also from VCU. Help in selecting the forum presenters was provided by another VCU faculty member, Dr. Lyn Myers.
To learn more about the offerings of the Regional Educational Consortium, please call RCC’s Workforce and Community Development Office at 804-758-6755; or visit the WCD Office web page at www.rappahannock/workforce.