Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Brabrand announced on July 15 that the 2021-2022 school year would be his final year serving the county.
Prior to becoming superintendent, Brabrand was a social studies teacher at FCPS, deputy principal of Herndon High, associate principal of Lake Braddock High School, and principal of Fairfax High. He was also Deputy Cluster Superintendent. He left for five years to be the superintendent of schools for the city of Lynchburg before returning to Fairfax in 2017 to be superintendent of FCPS.
“I am committed to continuing to serve with the same love and passion for FCPS that I had when I started. In the best and the worst of times, I have always strived to lead with a firm hand and a full heart, ”said Brabrand. The announcement of the end of Brabrand’s time is due to the end of his contract with the school board.
The announcement of his departure drew mixed reactions from the community on Twitter. One user was delighted to hear of the departure. “Two years too late,” @drobbva tweeted. “Hopefully the equally inept @fcpsnews board picks someone from the outside who brings real leadership who can right the ship you’ve overturned.”
When asked what he was most proud of during his tenure as superintendent, Braband reflected on many aspects of his job. “Two years of fully funded budgets before the pandemic that invested record amounts in teacher compensation and technology for students is a significant achievement,” he said. “Expanding access to Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology so that every talented student passionate about STEM had a better opportunity to attend school was also important. Focusing on fairness has also helped us create changes in school discipline that have helped reduce disproportionate suspension outcomes for students. The latter move was more controversial, and parents are suing the school district over the change.
“Not a single mention of academic success… An increase in graduation rates? Erin O’Connor Lobato commented on Facebook. “All equity … fully funded budgets … which have recorded a record investment in culture.” Now let’s find a superintendent who will prioritize academic rigor for ALL and hold him accountable for results. Teach ALL of our children to be good readers, writers and mathematicians… not victims and social justice warriors who cannot function in the real world.
Brabrand has been touched by the time he has spent with the FCPS community over the past four years as he strives to keep students first. “I came to work every day motivated by doing my best for every child that comes into the FCPS family. For me, this responsibility is a truly once-in-a-lifetime privilege, ”he said. “I cannot underestimate the love and commitment I have for the neighborhood which has been part of my professional life for 30 years. The staff I have worked with are the best in education and I can attest to their professionalism, dedication and talent. FCPS is a truly amazing school district, and we all play a part in making it so. “
The announcement comes as FCPS has decided to bring all students back for a five-day in-person return to classrooms this fall. In Brabrand’s letter to the community, he expressed his concerns about post-pandemic schooling. “We will continue to face challenges as we seek to provide a top notch education for all of our students and families. As we emerge from this pandemic, I believe we will rebuild an even better school system for our students, families, staff and community. “
Another Twitter user was also encouraged by the news of the upcoming change. “I wish you the best… I still don’t feel the system has been configured correctly. You should have left the choice to the parents who were essential in taking their children to school during the year and now you should have left the choice to the parents to stay virtual, ”tweeted @Jesm.
The process of finding a new superintendent has already started, as the school board said it will work with a search firm to recruit and find potential candidates. FCPS is also seeking community feedback on the Superintendent applicants and will post frequent updates on the process on their website.
Looking ahead, Brabrand isn’t sure what the future holds. “I started working when I was 16 and worked at Georgetown University. I spent 30 years in FCPS, and the public education and the beauty is that now I have a full year to decide what to do next, ”he said.
For more information on the Superintendent Selection Process, visit https://www.fcps.edu/node/43790.