Essex County School Board has named an acting superintendent, taking the search for its new leader one step closer to completion.
The Essex County School Board is pleased to announce that Dr. Gail Pope will be the acting superintendent for Essex County Public Schools effective Jan. 2.
Pope will replace Dr. Joseph Melvin, who tendered his resignation on Sept. 17 to become the Superintendent of Petersburg City Public Schools. The Essex County School Board accepted Melvin’s resignation effective Dec. 17 or sooner, depending on whether they could release him. His last day as superintendent was Nov. 13.
Pope has a history in curriculum strength and high standards in instruction and has over 30 years of experience in education. She received a BS degree from Radford University and her Masters and Doctorate degrees from Texas A&M.
She served as the associate superintendent for curriculum and instruction for Manassas Park City Schools. She also taught at the elementary, middle, high school and college levels.
Pope served as an assistant high school principle, middle school principle and as director of the Governor’s Best Practice Center for the Department of Education.
Pope also completed a four-year term on the board of directors for the Association for Supervisors and Curriculum Development (ASCD). As such she visited schools in England, China, India and South Africa. She is the former president of the ASCD. In 2006, she was honored as the Virginia Curriculum Leader of the year.
Additionally, she served on the board of directors of the Virginia Superintendent Association.
On June 30, Pope retired after six years as the head of the Manassas City Public School System, where she was named the Region IV Superintendent of the year in 2011.
Pope has been acting superintendent of the Page County School system (Luray) since Sept. 1, and completed the transition with the newly hired superintendent, Dr. Donna Power.
Essex County School Board chairman Larry Bullis said that the entire board feels as though “we hit the lottery,” by getting someone with Pope’s experience and accomplishments. S
“She fits the mold perfectly for the recent survey completed by the public and school system for criteria as a superintendent and will clearly help in the transition phase as we complete the search for Essex County’s next superintendent,” Bullis said in a press release. “We needed someone who would not just maintain our school system during our search, but continue our momentum and make constant improvements during the search.”