Carroll County School Board Chairman Brian Spencer ended speculation on who the new Superintendent would be at the board’s June 15 meeting at the Government Complex. Spencer announced the superintendent vacancy will be filled by Dr. Shirley Ann Perry.
Perry is currently the Director of Human Resources for Pulaski County Public Schools (totaling five years). Prior to this she served as principal over Career and Technical Education for Pulaski High School (PHS) and also served as an assistant principal at PHS. Additionally, Perry taught for 16 years at PHS. She served as Assistant Principal at Carroll County Middle School in 2008-2009 prior to returning to Pulaski County. (This was her first year serving in a capacity as an administrator.)
She has over 24 years of service in public education. She said she is a Richmond native, her family moved to the Fairlawn area near Radford early on in her life. She holds a Bachelors in Business Management, served four years at the Radford Arsenal as a foreman and earned her masters from Radford University in Physical Education before entering into teaching. Perry earned her Doctorate in Curriculum Instruction at Virginia Tech.
Spencer said the Board received 12 applications, which included three current/former Superintendents, five central office administrators, two principals, and two educators. The board conducted over 20 hours of interviews with five candidates over the three-week interview period. He said the board unanimously selected Perry to lead the school division.
“We are very pleased that Dr. Shirley Perry has accepted this position. Her vision towards education and her past experience as a Director of Human Resources will benefit the Carroll County Public School system as we continue to be one of the best school divisions in Virginia,” said Spencer.
Perry will start her new position effective July 1, 2017. A reception to welcome her has been scheduled July 25, 2017 beginning at 4 p.m. in the 2nd floor conference room of the Governmental Complex.
“I cannot express the gratitude I have and the appreciation I have for the board. The first time they spoke to me they told me how proud they are of me just from the accomplishments I’ve made to this point. I look forward to being the leader and the servant of Carroll County Schools and the greater school community and working with all the staff, support staff and professional staff,” said Perry following the announcement. “It’s a new endeavor and it’s exciting. I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and doing the best job I can for Carroll County Schools.”
She said she became interested in the Carroll Superintendent’s post “because of this county.” Perry recalled how good her experience was serving in Carroll from 2008-2009. Perry said she had her superintendent’s license for more than a year before applying anywhere.
“The warmth. The welcoming. The appreciation and the positive feedback I received on a regular basis. The community, faculty were just so good to me. I don’t know any way to say it. There were all kinds of little tokens of appreciation (such as candy kisses left on her desk) and warmth. I realized what a special place Carroll County is and how it is such a team,” Perry said. “Everyone comes together to support the needs of the students and each other. It just has a really positive, good energy. I wanted to make sure the place I applied to was the place I really want to be. When the position opened up that was it, I threw my hat in the ring. It was the people. The positive people and the energy of the community. This is a dream come true for me.”
Outgoing Superintendent Dr. Strader Blankenship was honored in the “spotlight moment” for his accomplishments in the District. In addition to the spotlight award and a plaque, board members presented Blankenship with an autographed toy school bus.
Spencer noted the award began more than a year ago and honors outstanding service, sometimes in areas which “you can’t really pin a trophy on.” He said it honors what has been done in the spirit of appreciation and to recreate the successful efforts.
“It’s been a fun award and tonight our board has decided to honor our Superintendent,” Spencer said.
Haynes read the resolution of appreciation, citing Blankenship’s five-year leadership supporting accreditation of all nine schools, increasing opportunities for faculty, staff and students and initiating educational redesign efforts. It noted his interest in economic development in the county led to improvements to the high school, the Agricultural STEM Lab and K-12 STEM education and entrepreneural education.
David Broyles may be reached at 276-779-4013 or on Twitter@CarrollNewsDave.