Standing in front of a packed Fulghum Conference Center in late March 2016, I was awed by the number of people who had come out to welcome me as the next Superintendent of Chesterfield County Public Schools. As I looked across the room and saw locally elected leaders, influential members of the General Assembly, representatives from major local businesses, leaders in the faith community and members of our own school division, I was reminded just how important our award-winning school division is to our community and throughout the commonwealth.
Chesterfield County Public Schools’ daily expectation is that students are provided a high-quality learning experience in a safe, supportive and nurturing learning environment. That learning opportunity should be one that is innovative, engaging and relevant and that shows real-life application to classroom lessons and keeps students thirsting for more. There’s a reason that people come from all over the state and across the country to learn what we are doing here in Chesterfield County – because we are doing it well. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this school division, and am hopeful I can make our work even better.
During my first six months as Superintendent, I have been extremely impressed with what I have seen throughout our schools and community. Since the announcement of my selection as Superintendent of Schools in Chesterfield County in March, I have spent a great deal of time studying the school division’s strategic innovation plan (Design for Excellence 2020), its funding plan and its operations. As I noted when I was first introduced, it remains my goal to preserve and enhance everything that makes Chesterfield County Public Schools special, identify opportunities for growth and modernization, and take our nationally recognized school division to even greater heights.
To help me with this work, a transition team comprised of elected leaders, business officials, faith and nonprofit leaders, educators and parents was appointed. This report highlights the team’s work, the strengths it has pointed out and opportunities for enhancing the school division.
We will work tirelessly with the amazing leaders and teachers in this school division to create optimal experiences for the youth of this community and will have a laser focus on maximizing their potential because every student deserves the opportunity to have a great life. At the same time, we will work diligently with the community to see that we are transparent with our operations and good stewards of the resources we are provided.
This community expects that each child will have access to a high quality education. It will continue to be our responsibility to make sure those opportunities are available. We have 60,000 reasons why we must be successful. Working together, we can achieve our objectives.
James F. Lane, Ed.D.