CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — There is a new leader in charge of Chesterfield County Public Schools.
Nov. 1 marked day one on-the-job for Dr. Mervin Daugherty, the county’s new superintendent.
Daugherty says he plans to visit each school in the district as he gets acclimated to his new job.
Friday, 8News toured Cosby High School with him — as he walked the halls, shook hands, visited classrooms, and even served up some lunches to students.
A former history teacher, Daugherty comes to CCPS from a Superintendent role at Red Clay Consolidated School District in Wilmington, Delaware.
“I left a strong network where I was and I gotta build a strong network here of people who want to support education,” said Daugherty.
Just as he did Thursday, Daugherty says being inside of schools and interacting with students is where he wants to be.
He told reporters he plans to implement something called the ‘Ambassador Program,’ which assigns each district staff member to a school. That way, he says staff can report back about how schools are doing throughout the year. Daugherty says he would also be assigned as an ‘Ambassador.’
“I’m gonna shake their hand when they’re graduating so I’d like to have some contact with them,” said Daugherty.
“The more I’m in the schools the more I think, as superintendent, I can direct the district — for them.”
When pressed about ongoing transportation concerns, Daugherty referred to it as, “the elephant in the room.”
He said there has been an improvement after new start times and a driver shortage at the beginning of the year.
But still, he says he hopes to have transportation glitches solved by January 1st.
Daugherty says it takes time for the new systems to be implemented.
“I want us to put on our website our efficiency rate of on-time buses, once this system is in place,” he said.
Daugherty is new to Central Virginia, but he is not new to the mission of schools.
“We don’t get graded by test scores,” he said.
“Test scores are a one-time thing. We get graded every day by a child going home and mom or dad asking them, ‘tell me about your day?’ That’s our report card every day.”
Another issue Daugherty acknowledged was aging infrastructure and overcrowding of schools in Chesterfield County.
He says he will focus on safety and security of schools and how to adapt and grow infrastructure as the county adds more students.
Daugherty told reporters he hopes to send out a weekly ‘Monday Message’ to staff around the county, Wednesday press releases to highlight what’s going on inside of schools, and organize sessions with parents to talk about preparing for high school and beyond.
CCPS shares more info on Daugherty’s background on its website.