CCPS superintendent to leave

Published 3:26 pm Wednesday, June 12, 2019

After 27 years, seven of those serving in Charlotte County, School Superintendent, Dr. Nancy Leonard is stepping away from public education.

Effective June 30, Leonard will retire from Virginia Public Schools.

“I am leaving Charlotte County Schools feeling very good about our accomplishments and for the future of the school system,” Leonard said.

Nancy Leonard

Even though the superintendent is feeling good about all the accomplishments, Leonard is leaving the school system sooner than she expected.

“I am leaving Charlotte County Public Schools (CCPS) earlier than I expected. A majority of our current school board voted a year and a half ago to not offer me another contract after June 30,” she explained. “Although the move by the new board was unexpected and unprecedented, it turned out to be a tremendous blessing to me personally and professionally. People frequently ask me why I have stayed after the school board’s vote a year and a half go. The nonrenewal of my contract actually served as an incentive for me to stay until the end of my contract. When a Virginia superintendent’s contract is non-renewed by a school board without cause, the Code of Virginia provides an early retirement provision for full benefit through the Virginia Retirement System at the end of that contract term. The timing of this allowed me to care for my aging parents and gave me the freedom to move the school system forward without concerns for continued employment,” she added.

Staying until the end of her contract also gave the superintendent the time to work with Assistant Superintendent, Robbie Mason.
Mason will now become interim superintendent effective, July 1.

“Robbie is going to be fabulous,” said Leonard. “Charlotte County is going to be fortunate to have him because he brings a lot to the table. Someone with his talent and track record is not easy to find.”

When talking with Leonard about her time with the school district, she was quick to point out the systems dedicated staff. “I knew when I arrived that CCPS was a hidden jewel in rural Virginia because of its employees and I have continued to be convinced more and more of that each day … if only all children could have a successful and nurturing school experience that Charlotte County children are so fortunate to receive then how different the lives of so many children in our nation would be,” Leonard said.

During the past six years, Leonard and her team have worked to bring full accreditation to all of the county schools.
“That is no easy task for small community schools.” she pointed out. “Our teachers are second to none, and I am proud to have supported them and allowed them to practice their craft as professionals.”

Leonard also noted that she firmly believes that a school system needs to support its teachers, as public education is not easy. “There needs to be support for teachers and administrators from the top down. A school system cannot remain successful without that support,” she said.

Several other items Leonard is proud of accomplishing during her time with CCPS was making school buildings safer and healthier through the renovation of three elementary schools which included the replacement of the heating, cooling, and ventilation system at Eureka, the addition of a gymnasium at Bacon, and the removal of the trailers and the addition of a gymnasium and classrooms at Phenix Elementary.

With school safety becoming more and more of a predominant issue, Leonard noted that securing a significant award in security grants that provided funding for electronic school entry locks and increased internal and external surveillance cameras at all of our schools was a top priority.

Part of school safety also included securing local funding for nursing positions at each school and the purchasing of 17 new school buses that are equipped with up to date safety features for the safe travel to and from schools.

“CCPS is truly a special place, and I will always remember it fondly,” said Leonard.

Leonard and her husband plan to relocate to Roanoke, and she will begin part-time consulting work on k-12 school facilities with RRMM Architectural Firm in the fall.