New Henrico School Superintendent Bio - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

New Henrico School Superintendent Bio

DR. PATRICK RUSSO

Dr. Patrick Russo has more than 33 years of experience as a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent.  In the last 23 years, he has been a superintendent in New York, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.  Dr. Russo has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from The University of Charleston, a Master of Arts Degree in Secondary Education from Adelphi University, a Master of Business Administration from Dowling College, a Professional Diploma from Long Island University and a Doctorate of Education from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Dr. Russo has been superintendent of Hampton City Public Schools since 2004 and the school division has thrived under his leadership. During his tenure, 97% of all comprehensive schools earned full accreditation, an increase from 74% in 2003-04. Dr. Russo also emphasized eliminating the academic achievement gap between students of all races and economic levels.  In five years, Hampton schools closed the gap between African-Americans and Caucasians in 14 of 16 instructional areas.  The Hampton school system also saw a rise in SAT scores with an 18-point increase in just one year. In a recent comprehensive annual parent survey, 80% of parents gave Hampton City Public Schools an overall grade of "A" or "B".

Dr. Russo is a proven advocate of teachers.  He worked directly with the Hampton City School Board and the City of Hampton to provide teachers with some of the highest pay increases on the Virginia Peninsula for the past four years.  He values providing a safe and comfortable learning environment and worked with the Hampton police chief on the development of the country's only regional youth violence and gang prevention program.  Dr. Russo also worked with city leaders to embark upon an aggressive school construction plan. As a result, two PreK-8 schools are scheduled to open in the fall of 2009.

The Hampton school division has won many national and state awards under Dr. Russo's leadership, including the American School Board Journal Magna Award, the Virginia Tech Excellence In Education Award, the National School Public Relations Association's (NSPRA) Golden Achievement Award, the National Civic Star Award (State Winner) and the John Hopkins University National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS) Award for Excellent Partnerships.

Dr. Russo has been named Georgia's Superintendent of the Year, Regional Superintendent of the Year in North Carolina, and on three occasions was named one of the Top 10 Executive Educators, selected by the national publication Executive Educator. He was also named the 2008 Hampton Association of Educational Office Professionals' Co-Administrator of the Year. Dr. Russo is a member of numerous professional and community organizations.

A leader who is committed to community engagement in the educational process, Dr. Russo combines solid business practices with his educational administration leadership skills to meet the needs of students, teachers, administrators, key stakeholders and the community.  In every school district he has served, Dr. Russo made it a priority to include and engage community and faith- based organizations. While superintendent of Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools in Georgia, he developed the Community Schools Resource Team (CSRT) Project. The annual school division Community Priority Workshop allows for many stakeholder groups to be engaged in identifying and supporting yearly school division objectives.  These teams provided support and were valuable resources in a school district with a more than 70% free and reduced lunch student population. 

Dr. Russo's commitment to education is a family affair.  His wife Brooke is a registered nurse and teaches at a regional vocational school in the Hampton area. They have five children: Erik, Meagan, Sarah, and school aged twins, Ashleigh and Patrick, who will attend elementary school in Henrico County Public Schools. 

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Henrico Public Schools provided this biography of Dr. Russo.

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