WATCH: New Loudoun County Superintendent shares his plan to improve school safety and more | #schoolsaftey

Dr. Aaron Spence is expected to join Loudoun County Public Schools on Sept. 1, 2023.

On Friday, 7News asked Dr. Spence a number of questions in a wide-ranging 25-minute interview.

“I would say coming right in I want to make sure that I am visible in our community, out listening and building relationships with our stakeholders, our business community, our parents in particular, our students, our educators,” said Dr. Spence. “And I want to come in and I really want to talk with them about what their goals are for our school division and what it is that they hope to see in our classrooms, things that they maybe think are some of our challenges that we need to address and then we’re going to take that information and we’re going to build out our plan to move forward. But broadly, my goal is coming to make sure that we have a world-class school division, where every child has an incredible experience every day.”

RELATED | Loudoun County School Board announces Dr. Aaron Spence as new superintendent

Dr. Spence is currently the Superintendent of Virginia Beach City Public Schools.

Dr. Spence describes himself as a passionate educator “who believes in children, who believes that they have the right to thrive in our schools and in our communities and that it’s our job as educators to do everything we can to ensure that that happens.”

“I think our work is a blessing,” said Dr. Spence. “I think it’s something that I was called to do. I’m also a loving father. And I have six wonderful children, two of whom I’ll be bringing with us to our school system and will be joining us as Loudoun County students. And we’re really looking forward to that part of this adventure as well. I just think overall, people are going to find me to be approachable. They’re going to find me to be a listener, somebody who is deeply interested, and working together to solve our challenges, but also deeply interested in helping folks see the school division that Loudoun County is. I truly believe Loudoun County is and should be a nationally recognized school division for the work we’re doing. We’re going to come in, we’re going to think about what innovations ought to be in place to meet the needs of our community.”

7News Reporter Nick Minock asked Dr. Spence several questions about the issues parents, teachers, and community members in Loudoun County said they want the new superintendent to prioritize.

Watch the full interview below:

These are the top issues respondents said the new superintendent should focus on and make a priority, according to a GR Recruiting survey:

  • School safety 38%
  • Staff recruitment and retention 37%
  • Teacher quality 37%
  • Academic rigor 35%
  • Communication 23%

On Friday, Dr. Spence told 7News how he will improve school safety, staff recruitment and retention, teacher morale, academic rigor, education outcomes and communication with Loudoun County families.

Dr. Spence also shared with 7News how he will improve transparency in Loudoun County Public Schools.

READ | Loudoun County superintendent search survey shows community concerns with LCPS

According to a GR Survey, 53% of respondents said LCPS’ transparency is poor, 26% said fair, 16% said good and 5% said excellent.

7News also asked Dr. Spence how he will allocate LCPS’ $1.6 billion budget and how he will close learning gaps for English language learners, economically disadvantaged students and special needs students.

7News also asked Dr. Spence does he think a student should be able to use the bathroom and locker room of their choice despite their birth gender, how will he address violence and school discipline issues at school, will he implement the recommendations in the special grand jury report from December 2022 that detail how LCPs handled school sex assaults in 2021, how he will address mental health issues in schools, and more.

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