Meridian High School Student Newspaper - The Lasso

The Lasso

Meridian High School Student Newspaper - The Lasso

The Lasso

Meridian High School Student Newspaper - The Lasso

The Lasso

FCCPS welcomes new Chief of Schools Dr. Dustin Wright

Dr. Wright is excited to assume his new position as chief of schools starting in August of 2024. (Photo courtesy of Peter Noonan)

Starting at the beginning of next year, FCCPS will welcome Dr. Dustin Wright as the district’s first ever chief of schools. This administrative role will replace the role of Head of Secondary Schools.

The Chief of Schools will act as an intermediary between the central office and the administrators at different schools, and to support the principals. This was previously one of the many roles assigned to Superintendent Peter Noonan. However, as FCCPS expands, Superintendent Noonan and the school board decided it would be best as a separate role.

“Our principals were really struggling to get professional development from pre K to 12th grade. The idea was to take the position that Ms. Hardy was in and create an opportunity to have that person work with all of the principals and assistant principals from pre K through 12 in the system,” Dr. Noonan explained.

Stepping into this new role will be Dr. Wright, who is very enthusiastic about this new position.

“It was a great opportunity to join a really excellent school division that lines up with a lot of things that I think are really important about education,” he explained.

Dr. Wright is also hoping to use the position to help support the School Board, and to ensure consistency across FCCPS’ five schools.

I think a big thing …is serving as a connection between the administrative and central office work … and the critical work that’s happening every single day in our schools and in the classroom. So I want to serve as that bridge to connect the two to make sure great things are happening for the students,” Dr. Wright said.

One big reason for this change is the COVID-19 pandemic. When the school system temporarily went online, a lot of parents became more involved. While Dr. Noonan welcomes the involvement, it has come with some issues.

“It takes a lot of time and energy and effort for principals to be responsive to all the needs of the community … Post covid, there’s a general growing mistrust of of public entities …because of that we’re continually trying to hold our position and our value in the city of Falls Church,” he said.

With any new role, there is bound to be confusion. This was an issue in the past, when it was unclear what the role of the Head of Secondary Schools was. But this time, Dr. Noonan intends to be more specific.

“We’ve put together a chart that sort of shows what the Chief of Schools will do, what the role of the Chief Academic Officer is, what the role of the Chief Operating Officer is…we’ll be sending that out in the fall,” Dr. Noonan said. 

Dr. Wright also hopes to be able to use his position to listen to teachers, and to learn about their needs.

“I think one of the biggest things that I’ll be doing when I start in July is lots of learning about what makes Falls Church City such a special place.” Dr. Wright said.  

But Dr. Wright isn’t only concerned about teachers, he is also always looking for ways to support students.

“One of the great things about the teaching roles that I was in as I got to work with lots and lots of students, and having that bigger impact was something that was really fulfilling for me. So as I’ve looked at leadership roles, it’s just ways to expand the impact that I can have to support students,” Dr. Wright stated.  

Of all of the new opportunities this role will bring, Dr. Wright is most excited about working with students.

“The best part of my day as an educator and as a leader is working with students… I will hope to have lots of interactions with the students… I’m just excited about something new. I’m excited to come to a new division. It’s one that I have a lot of respect for.”

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About the Contributor
Anna Goldenberg
Anna Goldenberg, News Editor
Anna is a sophomore, and this is her second year writing for the Lasso. Every few months she will become obsessed with a shiny piece of media, so her interests change a lot. She also likes reading, baking, and her dog.