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New superintendent hopes to turn around Danville Public Schools

Published: Oct. 26, 2020 at 6:12 PM EDT
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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - After a two-month search for a new superintendent, the Danville School Board felt Dr. Angela Hairston was the best candidate to move the school district forward. For Hairston, this role is a bit of a homecoming.

“I started there as a teacher, was administrator at Westwood Middle School, so it’s home there, so I’m excited,” said Dr. Hairston.

It’s no secret Dr. Hairston is stepping into some challenges, as only two of Danville’s nine schools have full accreditation and their graduation rates are the lowest among neighboring districts. With experience as superintendent in North Carolina and Georgia, Hairston feels these challenges are nothing new.

“For a variety of reasons I spent most of my career in what we call turnaround work, working with schools that are underperforming, not lower or whatever, just underperforming,” said Hairston.

To turn things around, Hairston wants to go beyond building a relationship with just teachers and principals.

“I’ve already started talking to some of the students over the weekend, just chatting with some students who have not experienced success,” said Dr. Hairston.

Hairston hopes to give teachers the tools they need to maximize their talents.

“Employees that I have met are really concerned about the district, love the district, love the children, but perhaps needs new strategies, another focus, another set of eyes,” said Hairston.

Dr. Hairston starts her new role December 1, 2020.

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