Experienced High School Administrator With Strong Leadership Background in Equity Programs Is Appointed Burley Middle School’s New Principal

Experienced High School Administrator With Strong Leadership Background in Equity Programs Is Appointed Burley Middle School’s New Principal
Kasaundra Blount

Kasaundra E. Blount, who brings 14 years of experience as a high school administrator and dean of students, has been appointed the new principal of Burley Middle School. She succeeds James Asher, who announced his retirement on June 17.

Blount, who will begin the leadership transition next week with Asher, brings an extensive background in managing educational equity programs to one of the division’s most diverse schools. Of Burley’s nearly 600 student population, 52 percent of students are white; 22 percent are Latino; and 17 percent are Black.

“The richness that this diversity brings to Burley and the tremendous potential for growth among all of its students led to the impressive quality of our candidate pool,” said Dr. Clare Keiser, the school division’s Assistant Superintendent for Organization Development and Human Resource Leadership. “This was among the most talented group of administrators, both internally and from outside the division, that we have had to lead one of our schools,” she added.

Blount, who is a member of the division’s anti-racism steering committee, has served as the Equity & Diversity Administrator for the division’s largest school, Albemarle, with nearly 2,000 students. She also led the school’s AVID program, which begins working with students who would be the first in their family to attend college, early in their high school career to prepare them for college.

While at Albemarle, she oversaw instructional programs in English, social studies, fine arts, health, and physical education, and supported incoming freshmen with their transition to high school. She was appointed an assistant principal at the school in 2015 and previously served in similar roles as an assistant principal at Armstrong High School in Richmond.

“I am beyond excited about the opportunity to collaboratively craft and implement programs and initiatives that will allow our students to connect curriculum content with their interests and passions outside of the classroom. Connecting with our stakeholders adds a great deal of quality to the learning experiences our of students, not only inside the classroom, but also in the real world,” Blount said.

“It truly is a privilege to have this opportunity to lead one of our division’s and one of our community’s most historic schools. Burley has a hallowed legacy dating back to its pre-integration opening in 1951 as the high school for Blacks,” Blount said. “The most uplifting stories of our evolution as a community are told in the school exhibits that showcase the excellence of extraordinary Black educators and students. It is a pride and a focus that continues to inspire the school today,” she said.

Both Burley staff and community members were valuable participants in the search process, Dr. Keiser said. “They identified several qualities that were most important to them in a new leader, such as having a strong instructional background; skills at meeting the needs of students capable of improving their performance in school; having a collaborative management style; and an ability to involve all of the school’s partners to continue to strengthen the school’s culture and climate,” she said.

“Kasaundra’s strengths and her record of accomplishments are an ideal fit,” Dr. Keiser added.

In addition to her in-school administrative experience, Blount this past year was the school division’s procurement officer, a role in which she provided strategic counsel to school principals on procurement and financial matters.

Blount began her career in education as a social studies teacher in 1999 for Northeast High School in Guilford County, North Carolina, where she first began her work with the AVID program. She had a similar role in Chesterfield County while dean of students for Meadowbrook High School, where she coordinated the school’s Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs.

An undergraduate of Hampton University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, Blount earned a master’s degree in teaching secondary education from Hampton and a certification in administration and supervision from Virginia Commonwealth University. She currently is pursuing a doctorate in educational management at Hampton.

Pictured: Kasaundra Blount

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