Dr. Verletta B. White, Superintendent of Roanoke City Public Schools, was named Virginia Superintendent of the Year at the Virginia Association of School Superintendents (VASS) Annual Awards Luncheon today in Roanoke. Over three hundred attendees were present at the announcement and presentation of the Virginia Superintendent of the Year Award to Dr. White by VASS President Mike Gill. The VASS officers and the presidents of several major state education organizations participated in the selection process.
Dr. White’s leadership in addressing the post-Pandemic challenges of closing achievement gaps among her students has served as an example for other school divisions in Virginia. Under her direction, Roanoke City has been very successful in accelerating the reading growth of its English Learning students.
The school division’s “EL Student Success Plan” which is based on highly effective targeted instruction, high-quality professional learning and meaningful family engagement opportunities for English Learners, has yielded impressive results. In the past year, EL students have demonstrated a 71% increase in above average growth on standardized assessments for reading. Specifically, the division’s middle schools have seen a fivefold increase in the number of students showing average to high growth on the assessments.
Keeping her students safe and connected has been paramount to Dr. White in the wake of the Pandemic’s challenges. By providing a structure of support for all involved in the Roanoke City Public Schools – staff, students, and families – she not only has ensured what her students need to succeed academically, but also, she has provided them with what they need to thrive physically, socially and emotionally.
In addition, Dr. White has invested in her students’ future economic success through the division’s new career development initiatives, which increased student enrollment. Improving workforce development efforts and expanding student access to Career Technical Education (CTE) is an important priority of Virginia’s public school divisions.
In presenting Dr. White with the Virginia Superintendent of the Year Award, VASS President Mike Gill said, “Verletta’s moral compass always points to doing what’s best for students and in following that path she has been tremendously successful.” He continued, “Her staunch advocacy for her students and the leadership skills she employs to help them succeed, make her a great example for all of Virginia’s educators.”
Dr. Whites’ inspiring leadership is a function of her experiences as an educator in Baltimore County, MD and in Roanoke City, VA. Her administrative career began in 1998 as an assistant elementary school principal, followed by an elementary school principalship, and then several district level leadership roles in Baltimore County. On July 1, 2020, she was appointed as the Division Superintendent of Roanoke City Public Schools where she has served until the present.
As the Virginia Superintendent of the Year, Dr. White will be eligible for the National Superintendent of the Year Award that will be presented in February, 2024 in San Diego, CA by the American Association of School Superintendents.