Educating for the Future

School Superintendents Rosa Atkins (Charlottesville) and Pam Moran (Albemarle) examined the state of education in Albemarle’s and Charlottesville’s public school systems.

Rosa Atkins and Pam Moran speaking before the June 8th meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia

Rosa Atkins (left) and Pam Moran speaking before the June 8th meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia.

Atkins and Moran spoke at the June 8, 2011 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Charlottesville Senior Center. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV Vice President Bob McGrath.

Rosa Atkins

Rosa Atkins

Prior to coming to Charlottesville in July, 2006, Rosa Atkins served as assistant superintendent in Caroline County. She has previously worked as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, director of leadership development, and director of instruction. A former fellow in Educational Leadership and Ethics at Oxford University, Rosa was named Henrico County Instructional Leader of the Year in 1999. Her breadth of experience spans urban, suburban, and rural settings; she has worked closely with refugee, homeless, and extraordinarily precocious children.

Rosa received a bachelor’s degree in Special Education from Virginia State University. She received a master’s degree in Special Education, and a master’s degree in Administration and Supervision, also from Virginia State. She received her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Policy from Virginia Tech.

Rosa was named 2011 Superintendent of the Year for Region 5 of the Virginia Association of School Superintendents and 2011 Virginia Superintendent of the Year.

Rosa has provided inspiring and innovative leadership in her urban school district of 3,800 students. She has reduced the achievement gap between her advantaged and disadvantaged students on the state’s standardized tests, while simultaneously elevating her district’s academic standards to better prepare her students for enrollment in higher education and successful employment in a globally competitive economy.

Pam Moran

Pam Moran

For more than 30 years, Pam Moran has held a wide variety of teaching and leadership roles in elementary, middle, and high schools as well as at the district level including middle and high school science teacher, staff development and instructional coordinator, middle school associate principal, elementary principal, director of curriculum and instruction, assistant superintendent for student learning, and superintendent.

Pam holds a B.S. degree (1974) from Furman University and a master’s degree (1981) in Curriculum and Instruction and a doctoral degree (1997) in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Virginia. As an adjunct instructor for the University of Virginia, she has taught over 10 different instructional and leadership courses across the state, including a recent virtual course on “Reimagining Education in the 21st Century.”

Connecting with other public school educators to make sense of needed transitions in our field as we close in on the second decade of the 21st Century is a passion. Pam is energized by conversations with young people who relish emerging technologies as learning and communication tools, and see themselves as contributors to the communities in which they live.

Pam is the current president of the Virginia Association of School Superintendents for the 2011-12 School Year and serves as a member of the Governor’s Commission on Higher Education. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, military history, poetry, and writing.

The 2011 General Assembly Session

Virginia House Delegates Rob Bell and David Toscano provided their perspectives on the issues that came before the 2011 legislature in this 49 minute podcast.

Rob Bell

Delegates Rob Bell and David Toscano speaking before a full house at the Charlottesville Senior Center.

Delegates Bell and Toscano spoke at the May 11, 2011 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Charlottesville Senior Center. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV Secretary Bill Davis.

Rob Bell

Rob Bell

An honors graduate of the University of Virginia and the University of Virginia Law School, Rob Bell served as a state prosecutor for five years. He prosecuted over 2,400 cases, working with the police and crime victims to bring criminals to justice.

Representing the 58th House District (County of Greene and parts of Albemarle, Fluvanna, and Orange Counties), Rob has written laws that crack down on drunk driving. He was named the 2005 Outstanding Legislator by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)-Virginia. He is also interested in school safety. In recent years, he has written laws to ban criminal sex offenders from school property during school hours and to require additional background checks on school personnel. In 2008, Rob helped overhaul Virginia’s mental health laws in light of the tragedy at Virginia Tech.

An Eagle Scout, Rob was an active volunteer with the Boy Scouts and with the public schools prior to his election in 2001. Rob’s wife, Jessica, is a school teacher. She is currently staying home to raise their children, Robbie and Evelyn. The Bells live in Albemarle County and are members of Aldersgate United Methodist Church.

David Toscano

David Toscano

David Toscano was elected to his first term in the Virginia House of Delegates in November 2005 representing the 57th House District (City of Charlottesville and part of Albemarle County). David was born in Syracuse, New York, in 1950, the first of five children. He was educated in the public schools, received a bachelor’s degree from Colgate University in 1972, a Ph.D. from Boston College in 1979, and a law degree from the University of Virginia in 1986. He has taught at various colleges and universities, including Boston College, the University of Maryland (European Division), Piedmont Virginia Community College, the University of Virginia, and James Madison University. He is an attorney with Buck, Toscano & Tereskerz, Ltd., specializing in family law and real estate. David served on the Charlottesville City Council from 1990 to 2002 and as Mayor from 1994 to 1996. David is a resident of the City of Charlottesville, where he lives with his wife of 30 years, Nancy A. Tramontin, and their son, Matthew. David serves on the Courts of Justice, Transportation, and Science and Technology Committees in the House of Delegates. He is also a member of the Disability Commission, the Joint Commission to Study Math, Science and Technology Education in the Commonwealth, and the Joint Subcommittee to Study Land Use Tools in the Commonwealth. He is also a member of the United Way Board and the Chamber of Commerce.

Sally Thomas: Sixteen Years on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors

Sally Thomas

Sally Thomas

Sally Thomas has represented the Samuel Miller district since 1994 when she first won election to the board in 1993 as an independent write-in candidate over Carter Myers by a margin of 192 votes. In all elections since (1997, 2001 and 2005), she has run unopposed.

“I originally ran to give Samuel Miller voters a choice when only one name was on the ballot. Since then, I’ve been privileged to serve those voters and all the residents of Samuel Miller and the County….I love the job and the responsibility that the voters have given to me, but sixteen years probably is as long as one should stay, so I won’t be running for re-election this November,” said Thomas. She announced she would not seek a fifth term on April 8, 2009.

Sally grew up in a small town in Oregon and has B.A. and M.A.T. degrees from Harvard/Radcliffe in Government and Education. She and her husband, George Thomas, have lived here since 1963, raising two daughters who attended Albemarle County public schools.

Before being elected in a write-in campaign in 1993, Thomas was director of Governmental and Community Relations at the University of Virginia. Thomas served on the Albemarle County School Board and was president of the local League of Women Voters. Thomas was also appointed to the Albemarle County School Board as the At-Large member during 1980-1983. Sally was selected as the 1994 Virginia Women’s Forum “Woman of the Year,” and the Leadership Charlottesville “Leaders’ Leader of 2001.” She received gubernatorial appointments to the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Local Government Advisory Commission; the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations; and the Natural Resources Partnership.

She served as chair of the Metropolitan Planning Organization; the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors – 2001, 2002; the Planning and Coordination Council; the Citizens Committee for City-County Cooperation; the Thomas Jefferson Venture; and the South Fork Rivanna Reservoir Stewardship Task Force. She served as president of the Virginia Transit Association and the Charlottesville/Albemarle League of Women Voters.

Sally served on the boards of the AIDS Support Group; the Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center; the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission; Scenic Virginia; Albemarle County School Board; and the City Social Development Committee. She was board liaison for the Mountain Protection Committee; the Albemarle County Historic Preservation Committee; and the ACE committee. Sally was a member of the Lewis and Clark Festival planning committee; Virginia Association of Counties Finance Steering Committee; Thomas Jefferson Sustainability Council; Jefferson Area Board for Aging Plan 2020 Advisory Committee; and the Policy Committee for VDOT’s U.S. 29 Corridor Study. She is a graduate of the Albemarle County Citizens Police Academy.

Ms. Thomas spoke at the January 13, 2010 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia held at The Charlottesville Senior Center. The event was moderated by SSV Secretary Bill Davis.