The Henrico School Board unanimously voted Thursday to name Dr. Patrick Kinlaw the new Superintendent for the school district.
The School Board's 5-0 vote in favor of Kinlaw at an afternoon work session was greeted with a standing ovation by the crowd made up of principals and other educators.
"Dr. Kinlaw has proven to be the right person at the right time to lead us to the next level of greatness," said new School Board Chair Lisa A. Marshall. "His blend of experience, leadership, and skill make him the best choice for this incredibly important position."
"We're all choked up," said Beth Armbruster, the principal at Godwin High School. "It's such happy news. I think we can finally be restored to the morale and what Henrico County was with me growing up and when I first started in leadership."
Kinlaw will replace Superintendent Dr. Patrick Russo, who resigned effective November 15 after a lengthy investigation following the resignation of Henrico School Board member Diana Winston. Kinlaw was Deputy Superintendent and served as interim Superintendent after Russo's departure.
Kinlaw's new contract begins Friday and runs through June 30, 2016. The board says they didn't look at any other candidates. Marshall said a search is not required and would have cost the district around $25,000.
"It was absolutely the consensus of the board, we didn't need to look, we had a star right here," Marshall said.
Board members say for months, people have been contacting them in support of Dr. Kinlaw.
"Everywhere we went we had positive input on Dr. Kinlaw and individually we received emails and I know from the many ones I received there was not one negative," says Marshall.
Dr. Kinlaw says he's ready for this opportunity and making things better for the district.
"I've been visiting schools and working with faculty and teachers throughout the county," he said. "Morale is very good right now."
Kinlaw will receive a total compensation package of about $229,000, including car allowance and deferred compensation.
Kinlaw began working with Henrico County Public Schools in 1997 as the director of Staff Development. He holds three degrees including a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Virginia, a master's in education administration from East Carolina University, and a bachelor's in education from East Carolina University.
The school board also named John Montgomery (Varina) as new vice-chair.
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