Last Updated: Apr 27th, 2015 - 11:04:56

Former Hopewell principal named state superintendent
By Staff Reports
Apr 4, 2014, 09:15

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Monday that a former Hopewell High School principal will become the state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Steve Staples has also served as a teacher in Prince George. Staples, who most recently served as Executive Director of the Virginia Association of School Superintendents, has dedicated his career to improving public education through innovative educational programs and by focusing on the specific needs of local communities.

“I am proud to announce that Steve Staples will serve as Virginia’s next Superintendent of Public Instruction,” McAuliffe said. “Steve has a deep understanding of Virginia’s strengths, its challenges, and the opportunities we have to take bold, innovative steps to improve schools in every corner of the Commonwealth. He has what it takes to drive Virginia’s public education system into the future.”

“These are important times for public education in the commonwealth and I can assure you that it has become quite clear to me that the governor and the team he has assembled care deeply about our public schools. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. It’s time to review the two decades old accountability system to better align it with the needs of the 21st Century, and we need to encourage our schools to innovate and meet the changing expectations of workplace and society. I am ready to hit the ground running to tackle the challenges Virginia’s education system faces and ensure every Virginia student has access to quality public education,” Staples said during the announcement.

Virginia Secretary of Education Anne Holton stated, “I am excited to partner with Steve, a true education leader and innovator, and I look forward to the progress we will make over the next four years improving our education system and preparing our students with the tools and resources they need to succeed in a global economy. I want to thank everyone who offered input in this decision and I am grateful to the exceptional education interest and talent we have in the commonwealth.”

Staples has served as the Executive Director of the Virginia Association of School Superintendents for nearly two years, during which time he has visited almost every school superintendent in the Commonwealth in his or her office, seeking to understand local perspectives and needs. Prior to that, he served on the faculty at William and Mary’s School of Education from 2008-2012. Previously, Staples was school superintendent in York County (serving 13,000 students) for 16 years, during which time York County was named by Money Magazine’s as one of the “Top 100 Best Buys in Public Education in the United States”.

Staples implemented a variety of programs in York County, including magnet programs in fine arts and in math, science and technology, and a charter school program that links academic standards to licensure competencies in career/technical fields.

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