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Fairfax County School Board officially appoints new superintendent

Fairfax County School Board (7News)
Fairfax County School Board (7News)
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The Fairfax County school board has voted to appoint Dr. Michelle Reid as the new superintendent of schools during Thursday night’s board meeting.

READ | Who is Dr. Michelle Reid? Fairfax County's next superintendent of schools.

Her appointment begins July 1, 2022, until June 30, 2026, board members said at the meeting.

“Everyone has a lived experience,” said Dr. Reid. “When you walk by inequity you have lost the moral authority to lead. I am committed to listening and learning from this community so, together, we can build on the strengths of Fairfax County Public Schools while developing schools of the future, not the past.”

“Dr. Reid is focused on academic achievement and outcomes for every student in our Fairfax community. She has previously demonstrated the highest professional standards when it comes to leading a school district and a proven track record of working to build a successful future for students. We are excited to have her on board and look forward to working closely with her,” said Fairfax County School Board Chair and Sully District Representative Stella Pekarsky.

During the scheduled meeting, the board selected Dr. Reid to be the district's next superintendent. But, a few board members made a motion to delay the vote to officially appoint Dr. Reid to the position. However, the motion to delay the vote on the next FCPS superintendent failed.

Board member Karen Keys-Gamarra said the board seems to be rushing this decision. She added that several organizations in the community have reached out to the board regarding this decision and community members feel disenfranchised and hurt by the process to select FCPS's next superintendent. Board member Dr. Ricardy Anderson says the process has not been inclusive or transparent.

RELATED | 'No longer participating': finalist for Fairfax Co. schools' superintendent job pulls out

Earlier this week, 7News confirmed one of the finalists for the FCPS job, a superintendent out of Omaha, Nebraska, was “no longer participating” in the search.

Dr. Reid served as the superintendent of Northshore School District outside Seattle, in Washington state.

READ | Students want say in Fairfax co. superintendent search, Frederick co. reaches final stages

Students in Fairfax County told 7News they haven't had enough of a voice in the search for the school system's next superintendent.

"All they did to reach out to students was host townhalls that some of which occurred during school hours preventing students from attending," said Aaryan Rawal, a 17-year-old at Westfield High in Chantilly.

Rawal said a community survey, and an 11-member student panel has also not gone far enough in addressing student concerns.

He showed 7News a petition signed by 375 students.

They're asking the firm hired to handle the superintendent search GR Consulting and FCPS board members to bolster student outreach in the final stages of the selection process.

Several demonstrations at multiple Fairfax County Public Schools are planned for Thursday in response to the superintendent's search.

7News is told students are walking out against the potential confirmation of Dr. Reid without student input on concerning aspects of Dr. Reid's record, including her approach to neurodivergent students, student free speech, English as first language learners, and the achievement gap for Black and Brown students.

The schools that demonstrated were:

1. Mount Vernon High School

2. Westfield High School

3. Oakton High School

4. McLean High School

5. Liberty Middle School

6. South County High School

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