SPOTSYLVANIA, Va. — The Spotsylvania School District has gone back and forth over all kinds of big issues, from mask mandates to LGBTQIA literature in the library. But this time, parents who might otherwise be in different political camps, say they are united against the school board and the selection of a new superintendent they think isn't fit for the job.
Four of the seven Spotsylvania School Board members, who call themselves conservative, fired the former superintendent, Scott Baker in January. Baker was previously a regional superintendent of the year and teacher of the year.
Now, the board is attempting to replace him with Mark Taylor, a man who has no background in education.
"I have never been more disappointed in my life," said Faith Jarvis a parent of former Spotsylvania students who still has family members enrolled.
She says the so-called conservative majority has broken rules, maybe laws, misspent funds and is now threatening to undermine the quality of education with an unqualified candidate for superintendent.
Taylor has held two jobs in Spotsylvania County prior to the superintendent selection. His resumé includes time spent as the Spotsylvania County Attorney and Administrator, and some experience as an administrator in Greene County, Virginia.
Taylor and his wife are listed as the directors of the nonprofit "Emerging Stars," which was founded and run by Spotsylvania County School Board member Kirk Twigg and his wife.
"He's never been in a classroom," Jarvis said. "How am I supposed to get behind that?"
Parents weren't the only ones angry at a board meeting Thursday night. Several teachers spoke out against the decision, saying they fear more educators will quit if the board hires Taylor.
"We spend a lot of time making sure that we have the requisite knowledge to work with children," said Heather Drane, a Spotsylvania teacher. "To have somebody come in, who's supposed to be our leader, that doesn't have any of that knowledge or certification, it's a little insulting."
To add to the chaos, the school board attorney resigned earlier this week and the Spotsylvania Sheriff's Officer delivered a letter to school officials saying they will no longer provide security because of how the meetings are run.
The chairman and majority members have not released any statements to the press regarding Taylor's selection as the new superintendent.
A special meeting was announced regarding Taylor's selection as the new superintendent. The meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday and will happen in the School Board Meeting Room of the Administrative Services Building at 8020 River Stone Drive in Fredericksburg.
"The purpose of this meeting is for the School Board to engage in a discussion regarding the superintendent search," the announcement reads.
The meeting will begin as an open session but will eventually transition into a closed session.
The first act of the new conservative majority on the Spotsylvania school board was firing Scott Baker and making Kirk Twigg the board chair.
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