LCPS superintendent announces retirement
Choking back emotion, Hatrick took to the podium to tell the board of his decision.
“And let me begin by doing what I have urged the 4,472 members of the Class of 2013 to do,” Hatrick said. First and foremost I say 'thank you' to the Loudoun community and to dozens of School Board members across many years who have entrusted me with this leadership position in our school system.”
Hatrick has served in Loudoun County Public Schools for the duration of his career. In 1967, he started his career as an English teacher at Loudoun County High School (also his alma mater). He rose through the ranks in the school system to become superintendent in 1991. At the conclusion of his career, he will have served as superintendent for 23 years.
“It has been my privilege to serve for 22 years and I will continue to focus on the future,” Hatrick said. “I pledge I will do all in my power to ensure a smooth transition in leadership.”
Hatrick also offered a warning to the School Board regarding spending, which has been a contentious issue throughout the school year.
“We cannot expect to be among the best when we are sixth of seven in cost per pupil in Northern Virginia,” Hatrick said. “And we cannot expect to remain competitive when we invest almost 15 percent less per pupil than our neighbors in Fairfax.”
Hatrick assured the board and those in attendance at the meeting that he will continue to reside in Loudoun and be an active participant in the community.
After a final thank you, Hatrick was met with a minute-long standing ovation from the crowd, composed significantly of teachers and administrators who have spent years working with Hatrick.
“He works for us; we don't work for him,” said Chad Runfola, principal of J. Lupton Middle School. “That's leadership.”
As some School Board members appeared to be fighting back tears themselves after Hatrick's emotional proclamation, Chairman Eric Hornberger was the first to speak.
“I want to be the first to publicly thank you for your years of service to Loudoun County Public Schools,” Hornberger said. “You are widely credited with steering the ship of Loudoun County through this growth.”
Since Hatrick's tenure began, Loudoun County has built 49 new schools to accommodate 53,637 new students.
The School Board will have the next year to find someone to take over the superintendent position.