FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — Nearly a month after Fairfax County Public Schools named its new superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid, she gave insight Tuesday night into her priorities through a virtual town hall put on by the school system.
Reid had spent six years as the superintendent of the North Shore School District in Washington.
“Educators right now, the profession as I mentioned earlier, most important in the country in my opinion and we need to be really mindful of the pressures, the trauma, the polarizing rhetoric has had on many of our educators and create a safe space for educators to educate,” Reid said during the community town hall Tuesday.
Reid comes to Fairfax County at a time when the school system has been at the center of political contention ranging from book panning to its handling of the covid pandemic.
“We can’t just move forward without acknowledging the deep pain for many young people and their families that’s still there. Not only did we have a pandemic, we had a racial reckoning."
Some parents and staff were curious about how Reid will handle bias and racist behavior in schools and across the division, as she was asked during the town hall a question about her role in ending it.
“Needing to disrupt the system in those places that have historically not worked for all students or all staff, it’s critical,” Reid said. “We’re going to have to be very clear about what stand for and condemn those acts that are not consistent with our core values and believes as a community.”
While many were initially skeptical of Reid’s hiring, some are now seemingly engaged with the plans she intends to set in motion.