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Danville Public Schools superintendent hopes to change district culture

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 4:57 PM EDT
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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - Dr. Angela Hairston stepped into her role as Danville Public Schools superintendent in 2020, with only two of the district’s nine schools accredited.

She says reaching full accreditation at all schools is just a part of her goals.

“That is minimally what we should do, accreditation. What we would like to see is more of our students go directly to colleges and universities; we would like to see more students with advanced diplomas.” said Dr. Hairston.

Hairston’s plan highlights five areas of improvement, student achievement, operations and internal processes, staff learning and growth, stakeholder engagement, and culture and climate.

She says improving the culture is the key to improving other areas.

“Climate and culture trumps everything, climate and culture trumps strategy every time, because we must believe as a community, we must believe as parents as educators that our children can do well,” said Dr. Hairston.

As the school district has been struggling for years, Hairston knows a lot of eyes are watching the district’s progress.

“Our city manager, city council and board of education sent a message that they expect improvements,” said Dr. Hairston.

She feels her plan gives the district a great chance to succeed.

“We have so much buy-in, because we listened to our community and that took lots and lots of hours and time, but it is the most important aspect of our plan.” said Hairston.

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