Michael Craddock, Who Expanded Center I Programs & Enrollment, Will Become Lakeside’s New Principal on July 1

Michael Craddock

Michael Craddock, currently the Director of Center I, the school division’s high school specialty center, and the division’s Interim Director of Professional Development, has been appointed the next principal of Lakeside Middle School. Craddock is succeeding Megan Wood, who recently was appointed as the division’s Director of Professional Learning. Both appointments take effect on July 1.

As the Director of Center I since 2019, Craddock oversees instructional programming and the center’s project-based curriculum for high school students from Albemarle, Western Albemarle, and Monticello high schools as well as the Community Lab School. Center I, which now has more than 200 students enrolled for the new year, had 21 students when Craddock became its director. He has added dual enrollment and dual credit classes in partnership with Piedmont Virginia Community College and each year has expanded the diversity of the center’s student enrollment.

The center hosts the division’s Information and Communications Technology Learning Center, where students are able to pursue interests in cybersecurity, video game design, and digital media production.

This year, Craddock also is serving as the interim director of the division’s professional development program, which equips teachers with training throughout the year on research-based best instructional practices. All of the division’s more than 1,300 teachers are required to participate in program offerings that both enhance their classroom skills and update them on the most innovative, research-based techniques for improving the academic growth and performance of students. Craddock took over responsibility for the program in the current school year.

As an assistant principal for the Community Lab School prior to joining Center I, Craddock was a major contributor to the redesign of the charter middle school with a concentration on master scheduling, instruction, and the recruitment of staff.

“What really stands out about Mr. Craddock’s leadership credentials are his strong instructional background and the quality and effectiveness of his connections to students and families,” said Dr. Clare Keiser, the school division’s Assistant Superintendent for Organizational Development and Human Resource Leadership. “He has been responsible for very impressive results, whether in expanding Center I, as a contributor to the redesign of our charter school as its assistant principal, or in the success he brought to our career and technical education programming,” Keiser said.

Center I, for example, is a key contributor to the development of the division’s career learning community model, and a second student center is planned later this decade.

At Lakeside, Craddock will be leading a school of nearly 600 students. Under Principal Megan Wood’s guidance, Lakeside students outperformed their peers across Virginia on the state’s Standards of Learning tests in the 2020-21 school year. In math, for example, more than three out of four students earned a passing grade, which was 40% higher than the state average. Similarly, in reading, Lakeside students scored more than 20% higher than all students across Virginia.

“It will be a privilege for me to join our Lakeside school community,” Craddock said. “I am an enthusiastic supporter of their mission statement, which emphasizes that striving for creative excellence every day is what best prepares students to succeed in a challenging and constantly changing world,” he added.

Creative excellence has similarly been at the heart of Center I’s support for students, Craddock noted. At the center, students take a major role in designing their own learning, developing projects that match their skills and passions. They often have the chance to work, hands-on, with mentors from the private sector and from public agencies to more fully develop their interests.

“Lakeside is all about empowering students to innovate,” Craddock said, using a theme on the school’s website. “I look forward to working with such a remarkably talented faculty and staff and with students and families that value education as a pathway to exploration and personal growth,” he said.

Craddock began his academic career with Albemarle County Public Schools in 2002 as an instructional technology resource teacher at Monticello High School and later transitioned to lead the Career and Technical Education Department. In addition to these responsibilities, he developed the school’s AVID Program, which expands personal growth and academic opportunities for students who often become the first in their family to attend college. He is an undergraduate of Virginia Tech and received his Master of Arts in Education from Virginia Tech and his Educational Leadership credentials from James Madison.

Keiser said that the division expects to appoint a new Center I director by July 1.

Pictured: Michael Craddock


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