On Wednesday night the school board in Loudoun voted unanimously to replace one long time educrat with another. Dr. Edgar Hatrick is retiring in June after nearly 50 years in Loudoun public schools with 23 of those years spent at the helm of the 70,000 student body. He will be be replaced with a younger version, Dr. Eric Williams. Like Hatrick, Williams has spent his career in public schools, most recently in York County Virginia in a school system with 12,000 students. Williams is the longest serving superintendent in the Tidewater area. Loudoun School Board Chairman, Eric Hornberger (Ashburn) said this about Dr. Williams,
“Dr. Williams is an innovative leader who cares passionately about effective and meaningful instruction, as well as the need to creatively engage students in the learning process,”
I have no idea what that might mean. I have no idea how they define any of that but I’m fairly certain it doesn’t mean the reading, writing, and arithmetic. School Board Member Jill Turgeon (Blue Ridge) said this about the new superintendent,
“His knowledge of instructional leadership is admirable as well as his understanding and application of technology, not only for instructional purposes but for communication with the public as well,”
I think this refers to his active Twitter page and a blog that was rated the best blog among school superintendents. (Damning with faint praise in my opinion.)
Jill Turgeon also praised Williams as a ‘strategic planner and systems thinker’, adding,
“above all, Dr. Williams stated time and time again that he wants teachers to recapture the joy and love of teaching while increasing student engagement and the ownership of learning.”
I think that means he wants teachers to enjoy their jobs and students to talk more in class? And he likes to think about systems of some kind? Perhaps someone can enlighten us as to exactly what these quoted phrases by school board members will mean to our schools. I have never understood or spoken educratize well.
Dr. Williams contract will begin July 1st and continue through 2018 at a salary of $240,000, plus $1,400 a month for travel and moving expenses. He must take up residence in Loudoun county within the next year and half.
Nowhere in any of the articles about the hiring of Williams is there any mention of cuts to the nearly one BILLION dollars given to the LCPS by the county each year. Neither the School Board nor Dr. Williams mentioned the budget. His ‘system thinking’does not appear to extend to the taxpayers of Loudoun County but does show more of the same educrat speak and support for teachers. Not to say that we don’t love and support our teachers because we do. Perhaps all of the reporters simply forgot to include the school board’s quotes about Dr. Williams’ plans for cutting the bloated bureaucracy and massive school budget? However, I suspect that is not the case and the more things change, the more they stay exactly the same.
Sorry Jeanine. . .you’re just flat out wrong on this one. No one will confuse Dr. Williams for Dr. Hatrick. Dr. Williams has in fact been described by those close to him as a “fiscal conservative.” The fact that, when introducing him, we focused on the educational credentials and philosophy of the person we hired to run a SCHOOL system should not be particularly surprising. Do a bit of research on Dr. Williams before jumping to conclusions.
I would be happy to do more research Bill. The fact that Dr. Williams close friends believe him to be fiscally conservative, does not prove that he is. Do the citizens of York county consider him to be a fiscal conservative because he has cut the budget year after year? If he is fiscally conservative in his beliefs, but doesn’t practice that in his job, it’s not of much use to Loudoun taxpayers. Is there evidence that Mr. Williams has behaved in a fiscally conservative manner in his job as superintendent? Has he looked out for the taxpayers in York County by cutting the school budget each year? Can you point me to an article that emphasizes Dr. Williams concerns for taxpayers? Are there articles about how much he cut the school budget in York County? I have not yet located such articles but I will keep digging. After this rather contentious budget cycle, I am surprised that the school board would choose to ignore evidence of Dr. Williams’ fiscal restraints. I have little doubt that it would have been news in York County if their superintendent had found ways to cut the budget for schools each year rather than increasing it so I shouldn’t have any trouble finding those articles. I will be very happy to learn that Mr. Williams will be looking for out for taxpayers in Loudoun and happy to report it over the weekend.