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LU should lead search

The Prince Edward County School Board should choose Longwood University and its president, W. Taylor Reveley IV, to lead the search for the county’s next superintendent of education.

The next school chief needs to be an exceptional person who is looking for a new challenge — one who can embrace our county’s rich history and assets and take Prince Edward’s schools and this entire community to a new level of learning.

We believe Longwood and Reveley are uniquely qualified to find and recommend a slate of quality, energetic leaders who can help make Prince Edward schools a stellar system of learning that parents seek out when choosing where to educate their children.

The board should choose Longwood instead of going the traditional route of using the Virginia School Board Association, at a cost of $5,500, or private search firm BWP and Associates, at a cost of $13,500.

The only reward for Longwood, which has offered to conduct the search for free, is a future of greater educational offerings for the community.

“I see it as a public service to the community,” Reveley said, “and I think the community is at a really transformational juncture, and this is one of very most important things that the community will be doing for the next matter of months.”

Reveley, from his days at the University of Virginia, the National War Powers Commission and prestigious law firm Hunton and Williams, and during a distinguished tenure at Longwood, has cultivated a breadth of contacts with state and national officials, including the secretaries of the state and U.S. departments of education, who could prove invaluable in the Prince Edward search.

The possibilities are much greater than those offered by the VSBA, which does a fine job of representing the interests of school boards at the state level but has a lackluster track record of recruiting superintendents. VSBA too often recycles superintendents who are struggling elsewhere instead of identifying the best and brightest school leaders. Neither VSBA or the private search firm can possibly understand the challenges and opportunities in Prince Edward like Longwood and Reveley can.

We encourage members of the school board to give Longwood a chance to bring forth the best candidates our nation has to offer to lead our schools and our youth to new heights.