DATE: April 13, 2018
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer
PHONE: 434-972-4049

Albemarle County Public Schools Announces Two Appointments to Increase Focus on Community Engagement and Strategic Planning

Patrick McLaughlin
Patrick McLaughlin
Bernard Hairston
Bernard Hairston

(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – The Deputy Superintendent of Albemarle County Public Schools, Dr. Matthew Haas, today announced two senior leadership appointments for the school division that will strengthen the school division’s community engagement and strategic planning programming.

As the division moves toward greater engagement with community businesses and organizations to enhance the quality of student learning experiences, Dr. Haas says that Dr. Bernard Hairston, the Executive Director of Community Engagement, will take on a greater role in building those partnerships as the Chief of Community Engagement. He also will continue to enhance the quality of the division’s diversity training and outreach.

Similarly, as the division moves to modernize its high school curriculum and build more project-based learning into all of its instructional models, there is a need, Dr. Haas says, to ensure that these programs will continue to closely align with the school division’s strategic plan. He said Dr. Patrick McLaughlin, the division’s Strategic Planning Officer, will assume more responsibility for that coordination and the assessment of the division’s progress as Chief of Strategic Planning.

“Dr. Hairston is personally responsible for the professional development programs in our division that empower teachers to make these invaluable connections with each student. Broadening these opportunities for all teachers is an essential part of our programs to eliminate opportunity gaps for all students,” Dr. Haas said.

Among Dr. Hairston’s other signature achievements are the national award winning M-Cubed program, which has strengthened the academic skills of African American males in middle school, and the establishment of African American Teaching Fellows, which has increased faculty diversity at both county and city schools.

The school division collaborates with 17 key advisory groups to develop policies and programs in major program and budgetary areas, and much of Dr. Hairston’s focus will be on continuing to expand the school division’s engagement with community organizations, leaders and volunteers.

“Those partnerships are a competitive edge for our students. Dr. Hairston has a strong commitment to providing more opportunities for community partners, teachers and students to work together,” Dr. Haas added.

Dr. McLaughlin has had the principle responsibility for implementation and refinement of the division’s strategic plan and its one goal that all students will graduate having actively mastered the lifelong-learning skills they need to succeed as 21st century learners, workers and citizens.

Among his expanding responsibilities are the oversight and updating of the school division’s strategic plan; modernization of its high school curriculum, High School 2022, to deepen student college and career readiness; design and implementation of new accountability measures to track and improve student academic growth; and his work with the School Board in setting specific division performance objectives that meet Board priorities.

“Dr. McLaughlin is at the center of the most consequential work we are doing to align student learning with each student’s acquisition of the skills and knowledge they need for lifetime success. A critical part of this work is being able to track progress, make necessary adjustments, and build internal consensus and collaboration around our strategic plan. He is among the most effective leaders in education today,” Dr. Haas said.

Dr. Hairston joined Albemarle County Public Schools in 1992 as an assistant principal at Western Albemarle High School. He became the principal of Burley Middle School in 1997 and the Executive Director of Community Engagement for the school division in 2006.

He received his undergraduate degree in Industrial Arts Education from Norfolk State University and his master’s degree in Industrial Education from Virginia State University. He also holds a Doctor of Education from Virginia Tech.

Dr. McLaughlin received his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Virginia. Prior to his appointment as Henley’s principal in 2007, he was an assistant principal at Hermitage and Deep Run high schools in the Henrico school division. Under his leadership, Henley Middle School received both a Virginia Board of Education Distinguished Achievement Award and a Virginia Index of Performance Award for academic excellence. He is a member of the Deeper Learning Leadership Forum, which brings together education leaders from around the country to explore solutions to address issues of educational inequity.

Appointments for both Dr. Hairston and Dr. McLaughlin are effective on July 1 of this year.

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