Fairfax County Schools Superintendent Announces Retirement

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Superintendent Jack D. Dale today announced his intent to retire effective July 1, 2013, at the end of his current contract. “I have served an extraordinary 42 years in public education, and I am honored to have had the opportunity to lead this world-class school system,” Dale said.

“In my mind, there is no other school system that has the same level of commitment of its school board, engagement of its community and parents, and talents and skills of its employees,” he said. “I look forward to spending more time with my three grandchildren and family on both the East and West coasts and pursuing my personal interests as a pilot, reader, and golfer. I also hope to contribute to public education in some way. For the next year and a half, however, I will be focused on helping our new school board craft the direction that will guide our system for the next decade.

Innovative leadership

Dale successfully led the school system through a historic budget crisis, maintaining the high quality of education for which FCPS is internationally known while creating a streamlined central office with hundreds of fewer positions and generating efficiencies throughout the school system.

He is also widely known for his leadership in closing the achievement gap among groups of students by emphasizing professional learning communities and launching the priority schools initiative, which drives additional support to those schools that need it most to reach their student achievement goals.

In addition, one of Dale’s major initiatives was the teacher leadership program, which provided extended teacher contracts designed to promote teamwork, improve instruction, and raise student achievement.

“Jack Dale’s leadership will be sorely missed,” said School Board chair Janie Strauss. “He moved the School Board and FCPS forward as we developed our strategic governance initiative, which made us more effective governors of this school system. In addition, his collaborative and collegial style has been a welcome approach to handling tough issues and challenges we faced. I personally hope that, after he retires, he will stay connected to public education for the benefit of students and educators everywhere.”

Dale became FCPS Superintendent in July 2004. From 1996 to June 2004, he served as superintendent of Frederick County Public Schools, Md., where he was named Maryland’s superintendent of the year. Dale has served in education as a teacher of mathematics, assistant principal, director of instruction, director of personnel, and associate superintendent for school administration.

Born in Seattle, he holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and education; a master’s in educational administration; and a doctorate in education, with an emphasis on school leadership and organizational change, from the University of Washington.