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Hatrick officially bids Loudoun’s public schools goodbye

After 23 years at the helm, Dr. Edgar Hatrick’s run as the superintendent of Loudoun County Public Schools has ended. - Times-Mirror File/Rick Wasser
This past Monday was the final day of Dr. Edgar Hatrick's run as the superintendent of Loudoun County Public Schools, a position he has held for nearly 23 years.

He was dressed the way he does most days, khaki pants and a button down shirt – just a tie and charcoal blazer away from what he usually dons on occasions when he might address the public.

As he sat and talked he didn't reflect too much on the past except to explain how what he had done would inform the things he planned to accomplish in retirement.

Hatrick sounded in many ways like a man who was about to retire.

"I would like to play more golf," said Hatrick. "Golf takes a lot of time. I don't know whether that's in the cards or not. I would like to read more, instead of scanning, which I've had to do for the last 25 years."

"I will start taking care of things that have been on the to-do list, as most retirees do.”

"If I had the patience and determination, I would like to learn the piano."

"I want to sing."

"We'll see."

The last bit was important. It was the acknowledgment that he doesn't exactly know what retirement will be for him.

From the time there were more cows than people, to today, he has been in the Loudoun County School system, a 1963 product of Loudoun County High School himself.

"I think I have an advantage. I waited longer than my contemporaries to retire," he explained. "I've watched how they handled retirement and listened to their advice."

One of the things he has heard is there can be a huge drop off in activity.

What he has heard is you need to have a plan. Retirement is a bit better because you can choose your plan, he says.

So what will he do with his first day off?

"Tomorrow morning I'll go to a Rotary meeting, as I do every Tuesday morning," he said. "I'll just have to resist the urge to turn toward Ashburn," which is the location of the Loudoun County Education building.

In the future Hatrick hopes he can continue to be a an ambassador for education. On June 25 he attended his final Chamber of Commerce meeting in his capacity as superintendent.

"Over the last 23 years I have been very involved in the business community," said Hatrick. "Education and business are key components to community life."

Hatrick is confident Dr. Eric Williams, the new superintendent, will have a strong relationship with the business community, also stating his support of a Chamber of Commerce he believes is involved in public education in a good way.

Even though he may be stepping away from public life, Hatrick has no plans of leaving the area, except for the stray week here or there to visit his grandchildren in New Mexico and Maine.

He wants to stay right here in Loudoun. In retirement, 'Where are we going to live?' is an important first question to ask.

"Well, we're going to live right here," said Hatrick. "Home's a place you look after. How Loudoun grows will be important to me just as a citizen."

How his garden grows is something he may need to preoccupy himself with in retirement as well.

"I'm not a gardener, which is at the top of the honey-do list."

Maybe he can put it off for a bit on account of the part-time job he will shortly take up.

"I'm not going to be totally retired."

Hatrick will be working part-time as a consultant with Cenergistic, an energy conservation company.

He says he will mostly work with superintendents, to see if they're interested in becoming a part of the program, which looks to help school districts save money on energy, water and power.

That could take as much as 10 days a month out of his green thumb schedule.

The rest of his Monday was spent meeting privately with members of different departments and doing his normal duties, until the evening.

"At 6:30 I will attend the swearing in ceremony for Dr. Williams," which he did.

"And shortly after that I'll pack my little van up and head on home," which he also did.

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