|Loudoun superintendent Dr. Edgar Hatrick is stepping down after 23 years at the helm of the school system. —Times-Mirror File Photo/Rick Wasser |
For 47 years, Loudoun County Superintendent Dr. Edgar Hatrick has been a mainstay in education. After stints as a teacher, school administrator and central office administrator, he ascended to the rank of LCPS Superintendent in 1991, a title he's maintained to become the longest-serving superintendent in the Washington D.C. area.
Hatrick's legacy will come to an end with this school year; June 30 marks his final day at the helm.
“It is time,” Hatrick told the Times-Mirror in an earlier interview. “This is 47.5 years, and it has been wonderful.”
Hatrick's dedication to LCPS is nearly unparalleled; after graduating from Loudoun County High School in 1963, he returned with his bachelor's degree in 1967 to become an English teacher. Before he was 30, he would take over as principal. In 1978, he moved to the central office as Director of Special Education and would serve in several other administrative positions before his promotion to superintendent.
During his tenure, LCPS has ballooned from 14,000 students to more than 70,000 with 13 high schools, 14 middle schools and 55 elementary schools, with more on the way.
“Loudoun is a different place every five years, but it never loses focus on what it is,” Hatrick said. “There is a fundamental root system to what it means to be in Loudoun County and that keeps us grounded ...”
Hatrick will be named Educator of the Year at the Loudoun Times-Mirror and Loudoun Chamber of Commerce's Citizen of the Year dinner May 21 at the River Creek Country Club.
Here's what some of Hatrick's colleagues said about the Goliath of LCPS:
“He is an inspiration and he has been a constant,” said Deborah Schwind, an occupational therapist at Cedar Lane Elementary, in a letter to the editor. “He knows every position from every perspective. He goes the extra mile, he values input from his staff, he values collaboration and team building and he recognizes the importance of building relationships with parents as well as embracing community partnerships.”
“He works for us; we don't work for him,” said Chad Runfola, principal of J. Lupton Middle School. “That's leadership.”
“To work with Dr. Hatrick is an academic exercise in the truest sense of the word; he imparts knowledge and he learns from others,” said Wayde Byard, public information officer for LCPS. “He wants everything connected with schools to run as perfectly as possible so that students get the most out of their education. He is passionate about everything he does. He leads by example. He doesn’t demand things of others, but you demand things of yourself after seeing the example he sets.”
I'm absolutely glad to have had the experience. Working with him has been inspirational. When I look at the 16 years as assistant superintendent and before that as a principal, everything about him helps you grow professionally. He likes to ask a lot of questions. He is thorough, and he is a thinker,” said Sharon Ackerman, assistant superintendent for instruction. “The word collaboration is very popular in education now but he's been like that as long as I've known him.”