Atkins was predeceased by Superintendent Scottie Griffin, who resigned shortly after his tumultuous tenure. With this, Atkins’ initial task was to ensure the stability of the division. Prior to Atkins, the division had five superintendents in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Gillaspie said she started by rallying school and division staff around the idea of taking control of the narrative.
“This idea that we know who we are, what we are and the dedication we have to children – that’s the story,” he said. “… It was great. She was really successful. We started telling our own story again and we felt more in control of our future.
A key change that Gillaspie and others highlighted about Atkins’ early tenure was the shift to a more cohesive curriculum and rhythm guides in elementary schools that aligned with standards. of State. Common rhythm guides meant that if a student moved from elementary school to elementary school during the year, they wouldn’t miss much, if anything, in terms of lessons being taught.
Daphne Keizer, director of educator quality for the Albemarle County School Division, was principal of Burnley-Moran Elementary School during Atkins’ early years as superintendent. Keizer said these pace guides provided more consistency across the school system.
“It gave the instructors the resources they could use with the students, and it brought us all together as a division,” Keizer said. “It was his educational leadership. She really put that forward and found that there was a need for us as a division to move forward and make sure that we were supporting our students.