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Chesterfield selects Dr. Mervin B. Daugherty as superintendent

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The Chesterfield County School Board today unanimously voted to appoint Dr. Mervin B. Daugherty as the new Superintendent of Chesterfield County Public Schools. Dr. Daugherty’s appointment is effective Nov. 1, so that he is able to start the new 2018-19 school year with his current school district.

A former Delaware Superintendent of the Year, Dr. Daugherty is currently Superintendent of Red Clay Consolidated School District in Wilmington, Delaware. Superintendent of Red Clay since 2009, he leads Delaware’s largest and most successful school division.

“This is an exciting time for Chesterfield County Public Schools,” School Board Chair John M. Erbach said. “During the last two years, we have made a number of enhancements to the teaching-and-learning process, creating a more engaging and authentic learning environment. We already are viewed as a leader in public education within Virginia and across our great country. We are on the cusp of being a world-class school division. We are excited about the skills that Dr. Daugherty brings to help us reach that next level of excellence in education.”

“I am honored to have been selected to lead one of the premier school divisions in Virginia,” Dr. Daugherty said. “Red Clay and Chesterfield County school divisions have a lot of similarities, and I look forward to transferring my knowledge and skills to serve the students, staff members and families of Chesterfield County Public Schools. I look forward to meeting residents, reviewing programs and helping take Chesterfield County Public Schools to the next level of excellence in education.”

The School Board conducted a three-month search using constituent feedback from a previous superintendent search.

“The School Board and I believed that the stakeholder data we collected two years ago regarding the characteristics sought in a superintendent was still relevant today,” School Board Vice Chair Robert W. Thompson said. “I’m excited that we found these qualities in Dr. Daugherty. He is a visionary leader, as evidenced by the many programs he introduced in his current school district. He is optimistic and has proven to be visible in schools. He thinks strategically, putting students first at all times, and is an inspiring leader who is passionate about making sure staff and students have the resources necessary for success. He is open, approachable and a good listener. He is what we were looking look for!”

Wanting to conduct a national search, the School Board engaged with two high profile former superintendents – Dr. Ann Clark, a former Superintendent in Charlotte-Mecklenburg who now works with Chesterfield County Public Schools as part of a partnership with the Bush Institute, and Dr. Terry Grier, a former Superintendent in Houston – to assist in identifying high-quality candidates with the knowledge and experience to lead an innovative school division.

“Dr. Clark and Dr. Grier have extensive contacts in the education field,” Midlothian District School Board member Dr. Javaid Siddiqi said. “They have mentored and/or worked with some of the best superintendents in the country. We knew that the candidates they shared with us would be solid. And, they were. We had a diverse pool of candidates in terms of gender, experience and location as well. The candidate pool speaks highly about our school division. We are a school division that others want to work for!”

Dr. Daugherty started his educational career by spending 16 years as a history teacher, serving also as a coach and mentor to students. Along his educational journey, while serving in Maryland and Delaware he also has held school-based administrative roles and central office leadership positions – including overseeing professional development efforts and serving as an assistant superintendent. In addition to his work in Red Clay, Dr. Daugherty has served as the president of the Delaware School Chiefs Officers Association, has been a member of the College Board Advisory Council and was selected as a 2013 Catalyst for Change winner for the State of Delaware.

“Finding a strong instructional leader was important for the School Board,” Clover Hill District School Board member Dianne Smith said. “Committed to visiting schools and being in classrooms, Dr. Daugherty also has indicated his interest in looking at how we are preparing teachers and leadership for success. Strong professional development opportunities are bedrocks of a successful school division. Effective professional development allows educators to develop understanding and skill sets necessary to address our students’ varied learning needs and their behaviors. This is an area of strength for Dr. Daugherty.”

With Red Clay, Dr. Daugherty led initiatives similar to what has been introduced during the last several years in Chesterfield County. Discussions about school safety, equity and serving the whole child have been prevalent in both Red Clay and Chesterfield County.

“Dr. Daugherty recognizes that student support services staff members are critical to the healthy development of our students, supporting them through social or emotional issues,” Bermuda District School Board member Carrie Coyner said. “Our students cannot achieve their best unless they feel secure, comfortable and supported. We believe Dr. Daugherty is the right person to guide our work in this area.”

Dr. Daugherty has served on state testing committees, advisory teams, coordinated interventions and awareness school programs, and helped to develop after-school programs for students. He has also developed programs to help students develop problem solving techniques and leadership skills. He has developed partnerships with countless other businesses, civic organizations, faith-based organizations and other community groups to offer additional resources for schools. And throughout his tenure as Superintendent, he has worked with the Yale Teacher Initiative at Yale University to improve classroom instruction.

Dr. Daugherty earned his Doctorate in Leadership in Education from Wilmington University in 2007. He received his master’s degree in Administration and Supervision from Salisbury University and his undergraduate degree in education from Frostburg State College.

Dr. Daugherty and his wife, Kim, have two children and three grandchildren.