DATE: September 28, 2017
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer
Dr. Matthew S. Haas Appointed by School Board as Next Superintendent of Albemarle County Public Schools
(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – The Albemarle County School Board this evening appointed Dr. Matthew S. Haas as the school division’s 20th Superintendent, succeeding Dr. Pamela R. Moran, who announced her retirement today. Dr. Moran will retire on June 30, 2018, and Dr. Haas’ appointment takes effect the next day, July 1.
Dr. Haas joined Albemarle County Public Schools in 2004 as the principal of its largest school, Albemarle High School. He moved up to the school division’s central office in 2009 as an executive director, with responsibilities for strategic planning, human resources, and leadership development. He later became the assistant superintendent, and since 2015, he has served as the school division’s deputy superintendent.
“The evaluation process for a successor to Dr. Moran has been on-going for more than a year, ever since she informed the School Board that she would not seek to renew her contract in 2018,” said Dr. Kate Acuff, School Board Chair.
“Two considerations were paramount in our discussions,” Dr. Acuff continued. “First and most important was the division’s current strategic and performance path. We have a school division whose students regularly outperform their state and national peers in their measureable academic performance and college readiness. Based upon these metrics and several others, we consistently are ranked by the national education assessment organization, Niche, among the highest performing school division in our state and nation,” she said.
“Our Board was unanimous in its determination to keep our high-performing school division on its current course, which brings us to our second consideration, which is our working knowledge of Dr. Haas over several years. We consistently are impressed with his contributions to the strategic direction of our division, the development of our senior leadership team, our school improvement planning process, the effectiveness of School Board policies, and most recently, his leadership on the development of the budget. We are fully confident he is the right choice to take our school division forward, and he will do that without the cost of a learning curve,” Dr. Acuff said.
Currently, Dr. Haas is leading the school division’s planning for Profile of a Virginia Graduate, the state initiative that will require all high school graduates to add work-based learning experiences to their graduation requirements. The impact of these changes will be felt throughout the school division’s curriculum as more opportunities are created for students to participate in internships, career planning and preparation programs, project-based learning, independent studies, and community service.
Dr. Haas’ credentials include having primary responsibility for the division’s modernization of its strategic plan. Working with community organizations and the School Board, the plan adopted one goal for all students—that they graduate having actively mastered the lifelong-learning skills they need to succeed as 21st century learners, workers and citizens.
He has instituted annual student climate surveys that are used to improve the health and safety of students in schools as well as their level of engagement with the curriculum; he installed a teacher performance appraisal system that more closely aligns professional goals with student performance outcomes; and he created the first division-wide crisis manual and communication plan.
While serving as Albemarle High School’s principal, he planned and opened the school division’s first high school center of excellence, MESA (Math, Engineering & Science Academy), which led to the opening of academies at Monticello High School (Health and Medical Sciences) and at Western Albemarle High School (Environmental Studies). The impact he has had on developing contemporary skills for students dates back to his leadership at Albemarle High School, where his faculty team used the school division’s Framework for Quality Learning to create more authentic learning experiences for all students. This model since has been adopted across the division.
More recently, Dr. Haas led the 2017-18 budget process for the school division, which yielded the first budget in several years that was fully funded. Among its groundbreaking programs is the Equity & Access Initiative to close learning opportunity gaps among all students. The initiative focuses social, emotional, academic and technology resources on four urban ring schools as a pilot prior to its expansion throughout the county.
Prior to joining the school division in 2004, Dr. Haas was a high school principal for Smyth County Schools. He began his career in public education in Virginia Beach as an English teacher and later was an athletic coach and an assistant middle and high school principal.
An undergraduate of Old Dominion University, he received his Master’s in Education Administration and Supervision from the College of William & Mary and his Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.