Building Services, Transportation Leaders Announce They Will Be Leaving School Division at End of Calendar Year

Joe Letteri (left) and Jim Foley (right)

Joseph Letteri, who is completing his 15th year as the school division’s Director of Building Services, said this week that he will be retiring on January 1. Separately, the division’s Director of Transportation, James Foley, said he will be leaving at the end of the year to relocate to Williamsburg. Foley has served for just over 11 years in his current role, including one year as the department’s interim director.

Letteri manages the implementation of the division’s capital improvement projects, including the current 28,000-square foot addition to Crozet Elementary School that will add up to 20 classrooms and 340 students. Recent years have seen expansions and the modernization of Agnor-Hurt, Greer, Red Hill, Scottsville, and Woodbrook elementary schools and Henley Middle School’s fitness facility, and the construction of an Environmental Sciences building at Western Albemarle High School. In addition to overseeing these projects, Letteri supervises a staff of nearly 200 professionals who maintain and improve each year more than 2.3 million square feet of facilities and 631 acres. This past year, his staff was instrumental in upgrading the heating and air conditioning and air filtration systems in more than 900 classrooms to provide additional layers of protection against transmission of the COVID-19 virus. 

“I have been blessed with the opportunity to work in the public sector for over 30 years, and my time with Albemarle County Public Schools has been among the most enjoyable of my professional life,” Letteri said. “It has been a privilege to work with an outstanding team so focused on meeting their responsibilities on time and with high quality. Our employees have made our Building Services department a vital partner of our school division’s mission of providing students and staff with learning environments that are safe, healthy and modern,” he added.

Foley leads a team of more than 220 bus and van drivers, assistants, technicians, and office staff, regularly transporting more than 8,000 students to and from school each year. His drivers cover more than 12,000 miles over more than 500 bus routes each day. Since Foley became the department’s director, the transportation team has accumulated over 13 million safe driving miles.

Under his direction, the division instituted several student safety measures, including the use of extended stop arms to reduce incidents of motorists passing a stopped school bus; approval to install exterior safety cameras on buses to further discourage motorists from endangering students boarding or leaving a bus; and the authority to conduct its own safety testing and certification of new drivers. Recently, the division was selected by the state to participate in a pilot program to operate electric school buses.

Earlier this week, Foley said in a message to employees: “For more than 10 years, it has been a privilege to serve our students, families and staff, working alongside you. You are incredibly talented and dedicated professionals, serving the highest interests of our community, the safety and education of our children. I especially am proud of how you have preserved through this pandemic and remained focused on our core mission of getting our students to school safely during one of the most challenging times of the past 100 years. A great deal has been asked of you and you have never failed to deliver.”

Rosalyn Schmitt, the division’s Chief Operating Officer, said the division will move quickly with its search for successors to both department leaders. “As both of these leaders have demonstrated, these two departments are vital to the operational excellence and safety of a school division that serves over 13,000 students and their families and 3,000 staff members,” she said.

The search process will include reaching out to employees in both Building Services and Transportation for their input, Schmitt said, with the ultimate goal of having new directors named before the end of the year to ensure a seamless transition.

Prior to joining Albemarle County Public Schools, Letteri served the Town of Harwich in Massachusetts as its director of highway and maintenance; the city of Richmond as the operations director for its division of facilities management; and Albemarle County as Chief of Public Works. Foley’s previous experience includes serving as a plant manager for Cargill; as vice president of operations for Gimbal’s Find Candies; and as the acting chief operating officer for an investment firm.

Pictured: Joseph Letteri (left) and James Foley (right)

CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Strategic Communications Officer
PHONE: 434-972-4049