School Board approves new contract for Superintendent

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The Chesterfield County School Board unanimously agreed to a new contract with Superintendent Dr. James Lane during its Dec. 12 meeting. The new contract, which takes effect on Jan. 1, 2018, will keep Lane as the school division’s chief executive officer through at least June 30, 2021.

“In 18 short months, Dr. Lane’s accomplishments as Superintendent of Chesterfield County Public Schools made this an easy decision for us,” School Board Chair Dr. Javaid Siddiqi said. “As we begin to move beyond the baseline of full accreditation and push our schools to think creatively about the ways they engage students and families, we need a leader who will encourage and pursue innovation in the classroom. We are confident that Dr. Lane is that leader.”

The School Board noted Lane’s work to increase student engagement, differentiate resources and provide equitable services to support students and schools considered at-risk and give school building leaders the autonomy to make decisions in the best interest of their students, all key changes under Lane’s leadership. This work, supported by School Board actions and funding, resulted in 100 percent accreditation for schools, including Ettrick Elementary and Falling Creek Middle, which were both denied accreditation last year. Ettrick recently regained full accreditation status for the first time since the 2012-13 school year.

“I remember Dr. Lane saying, when he was first hired, that it was his job to preserve what made Chesterfield County Public Schools great and to enhance our work where possible,” School Board Vice Chair John Erbach said. “The School Board knew when we hired him that his vision for innovation and his passion for doing what was right for students and staff would help propel our school division to greater heights. And working collaboratively with the Board, he is doing just that!”

Lane, a former assistant principal in Chesterfield County, joined the school division in July 2016 after serving as Superintendent in Goochland and Middlesex counties. In addition to his focus on academics, Lane has been actively involved in moving forward the school division’s five-year operating plan, creating a plan to increase teacher salaries by 10 percent over a five-year period, bringing school principal salaries in line with surrounding localities, expanding the school division’s Anytime, Anywhere Learning initiative to elementary schools, helping identify a plan to solidify the school division’s supplemental retirement program and shifting the focus of the school division’s construction plan from renovation to complete rebuilds.

“I’m humbled by the School Board’s continued confidence in me to lead Team Chesterfield,” Dr. Lane said. “This Board is full of quality leaders who want only the best for our school division. I’m excited to continue this partnership of six as we begin to imagine tomorrow in Chesterfield County Public Schools.”

Lane’s new salary is $233,529, a salary figure agreed upon that is 5 percent less than the salary earned by the Chesterfield County administrator. Unlike the original contract, there is no car allowance or deferred compensation with the new contract.

“The School Board and I have a lot of work ahead of us – including developing a funding plan and a strategic innovation plan that will continue our efforts to maximize the potential of every child,” Dr. Lane said.