Danville Public Schools introduced Angela Hairston as the school division’s new superintendent during Thursday evening’s school board meeting.
She will assume the position on Dec. 1.
Hairston has more than 30 years of experience working in public education in Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina. Since 2019, she has served as superintendent for Winston Salem/Forsyth County Schools in North Carolina.
She previously was a superintendent in Augusta, Georgia, and she is a former member of Danville Public Schools where she was a math teacher, assistant principal and principal.
“I am honored to be selected as the next superintendent of Danville Public Schools,” Hairston said in a news release. “I am excited to have this opportunity to work collaboratively with the school board, staff and the community in Danville.”
She was on the job for a little more than a year for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.
"I have the chance to accept an opportunity dear to my heart within another school district that I cannot pass up," Hairston said in a statement reported by the Winston-Salem (North Carolina) Journal on Thursday.
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Board Chair Malishai Woodbury said: "Dr. Hairston has done some incredible work in her short time here and while we are still processing this announcement, we support Dr. Hairston in making a decision that she feels is best for her personal growth and career. Our board has been through some difficult times in recent months, but I can assure you will do what we think is best for students, best for staff and best for our community. We will begin working immediately to find someone who will take the reins of this difficult work and carry on. We can't stop, the learning must continue."
Hairston's time in North Carolina was marked by one of the most challenging education scenarios in recent history — the massive and sudden shift to online learning in mid-March, ordered by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper to stem the spread of COVID-19. Within a few days, the district had passed out thousands of Chromebooks and internet Hot Spots and set up a meal-delivery system to feed thousands of students.
Her tenure in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County is among the shortest in recent memory. She started her job in September 2019, after a months-long search.
The Danville school district worked closely with the Virginia School Boards Association to find a new leader for the city's school system following the resignation of Stanley Jones on June 30.
Jones accepted a position as associate superintendent for instruction with Stafford County Public Schools in Northern Virginia. Catherine Magouyrk has served as interim superintendent for city schools since mid-July.
Hairston holds a doctorate in educational leadership from Virginia Tech, a master’s degree in secondary school administration from Hampton University and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and business administration from Averett University.
The Winston-Salem (North Carolina) Journal contributed to this report.