Superintendent of Schools is Retiring
by Jim Hopkins, school board member
The Orange County School Board laments receiving a letter from Dr. Brenda Tanner, Superintendent of Schools,
announcing her decision to retire on June 30, 2018. The School Board coaxed Dr Tanner out of
retirement four years ago to lead our school system. She has honored her four year contract and
made numerous improvements to our school system. The School Board would have gladly extended
her contract but we also have to honor her decision. I am sure Brenda and her husband Russell,
also retired from Germania Community College, will continue in numerous ways to support education and
our students. The School Board wishes them both the very best in their retirement.
Selecting a new Superintendent is one of the most important duties of the School Board.
Our first step was to hire the Virginia School Board Association (VSBA) to advise us on the search
process. VSBA was the obvious choice because they assisted in searching for our last two
superintendents and we have been very pleased with the results. VSBA’s first words of
advice were to take our time and get it right. To that end, the school board will establish
a time-line for conducting the search.
During January and the first week in February, the School Board will seek input from parents, staff,
students and the community on what qualifications or characteristics would be most desirable
for the new superintendent. If you have Internet access, there is a survey that can be
completed on the school’s website Orange County Public Schools.
In addition, the School Board will hold a Public Hearing to receive additional input from the
public. The Public Hearing will take place at 6:00 pm on Monday, February 5, 2018
at the Locust Grove Middle School.
The exact dates for the time-line have yet to be established but an overview of the process would
be similar to: in February decide on the desired qualifications, in March accept applications, in April
interview candidates, and in May, announce the new Superintendent of Schools. A time-line
similar to this will be an inducement for experienced superintendents, which are currently under
contract, to submit an application. Attracting an experienced superintendent to Orange County
would be in the best interest of our students, our employees, and the public.