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UPDATED: Prince William Schools Superintendent to Retire at end of 2020-21 School Year

| August 13, 2020 | 0 Comments | Education, News

Woodbridge, VA. August 8, 2019: Prince William County Schools Excellence and Equity in Education Conference at Colgan High School

UPDATED Aug. 13 at 4:01 p.m.

Prince William County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steven Walts will be retiring at the end of the 2020-21 school year. Prince William County Schools confirmed the information, on the afternoon of Aug. 13.

Prince William County Schools has headed the second largest school division in the Commonwealth of Virginia since 2005.

Diana Gulotta, Director of Communications for PWCS, said the school board never took a vote on an extension of his contract this year, which was set to expire in  2021 without any further action.

Around 3:30 p.m., Prince William County Schools published a letter from Dr. Walts to the community, announcing his retirement, thanking teachers and staff and listings accomplishments he is most proud of over his 15-year tenure.

Accomplishments include increasing test scores and graduation rates, expanding programs, opening 20 “state-of-the-art” new schools, and managing fiscal difficulties without staff reductions.

“How has so much been accomplished? Our amazing teachers, support staff, and administrative leadership by principals, their leadership teams, and central office administrative support, together with loving, engaged parents and guardians, a great community, and county and state government support have been the answer! I value each and every one of you!”

Walts said he wanted to give notice of his retirement a year early to provide ample time for the school board and division to look for his replacement.

Earlier this summer, the school board delayed a vote on Walts’ contract, which was due to expire at the end of the 2020-21 school year.In 2019, the previous school board denied extending Walts’ contract, from 2021 to 2023, by a tie vote. Some board members wanted to make sure the next board be given the opportunity to evaluate their superintendent.

According to his current contract, Dr. Walts’ salary is $330,752 plus $100,000 in benefits, making him one of the highest paid superintendents in the state.

This year Walts was embroiled in controversy surrounding the use of his school Twitter account. A citizen had sued the school division regarding Walts’ private messages with students. This led the school division to investigate Walts’ use of social media.

Walts’ retirement announcement comes at a time when PWCS is redefining education in having to teach students remotely during a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. Prince William Schools is returning to school virtually in September with the except of certain special education students. The plan is to return to a 2-day model in the second marking period, but that is subject to change.

“I will continue to do my best to lead our School Division as we navigate the uncharted waters caused by a global pandemic,” Walts said in his letter.

*Bristow Beat made a correction to the article, regarding reference to PWEA executive team. 

The article has been updated once to provide more information. 

© 2020, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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