Interview with Dr. Eric Williams from Sept. 22, 2012
(April 2, 2014) – The Loudoun County School Board announced the selection of Dr. Eric Williams as the next superintendent of Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) on Wednesday, April 2.
Williams has been superintendent of the York County School Division for the past six years, which serves approximately 12,500 students in York County, Va. Prior to his role in York County, he served as the assistant superintendent in Collier County, Fla., which serves 44,000 students.
The search firm of Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates (HYA) reviewed applications from 61 individuals for the LCPS superintendent’s position and interviewed 20 potential candidates. HYA presented 10 candidates for consideration by the School Board. The board conducted initial interviews with seven of those candidates and identified semi-finalists for further consideration. Additionally, a stakeholder committee with membership from parents, residents, students and staff interviewed the semi-finalists and provided feedback to the School Board.
Last month, the School Board unanimously selected Williams as its preferred candidate, noting that he knows the educational environment in Virginia and is a strong instructional leader who understands technology and the need for enhancing the educational opportunities provided by LCPS. Board members also believe that he is a strategic planner, a systems thinker and a highly effective communicator. The board also valued the information provided by members of the Community Stakeholder Committee, which interviewed the three semi-finalist candidates and shared their insights on each of the candidates with the School Board.
Once Williams was selected as the preferred candidate, Loudoun County School Board Chairman Eric Hornberger (Ashburn District) and Vice Chairman Jill Turgeon (Blue Ridge District) conducted a site visit to York County School Division and talked with school board, senior staff and community members who have worked directly with Williams during the past six years. Hornberger and Turgeon also conducted site visits to an elementary, middle and high school in York County to see first hand some of the initiatives Williams has spearheaded as superintendent. Their visit confirmed what they learned about Williams during his interviews and reaffirmed their belief that he is the right choice as Loudoun’s new superintendent.
“Dr. Williams is an innovative leader who cares passionately about effective and meaningful instruction, as well as the need to creatively engage students in the learning process,” said Hornberger. “The Loudoun County School Board looks forward with great excitement to working with Dr. Williams to build upon past successes and move our school system forward.
“As the superintendent search process concludes, the School Board would like to thank the citizens of Loudoun County for enthusiastically participating in, and providing great insights throughout, the process,” Hornberger added. “This outcome would not have been possible without the active participation of our community.”
Williams’ educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in education from the College of William and Mary, a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University and a doctorate of education from Boston University.
“Loudoun County Public Schools has a long tradition of excellence and has consistently been one of the premier school systems in the country,” said Williams. “I look forward to continuing that tradition and working very closely with the board and the other division stakeholders to achieve even greater success for the students of LCPS.”
Williams began his career as a high school history teacher in Fairfax County, Chelsea, Mass., and Sao Paulo, Brazil. He has worked as a middle school assistant principal in Salem, Mass., and as a high school dean, assistant principal, and principal in Collier County, Fla., where he then became the assistant superintendent.
Williams went to York County as its superintendent in 2008.
York County School Board Chairman Mark Medford said Williams has provided great leadership in moving a high-performing school division to new levels of excellence. Medford added that York County would be very sorry to see Williams leave, but that the board understands that Loudoun County is an exceptional opportunity for any educational leader.