New Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Brings Strong Commitment to Student Success, Collaboration & Closing Achievement Gaps

New Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Brings Strong Commitment to Student Success, Collaboration & Closing Achievement Gaps

Dr. Chandra Hayes, the Director of Equity and Student Support Services for Chesterfield County Public Schools, the fifth largest school division in Virginia with nearly 65,000 students, will be the next Assistant Superintendent for Instruction for Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS). The appointment is effective July 1, when Hayes will succeed Debora Collins, who announced her retirement earlier this year.

Dr. Chandra Hayes (2023)

Dr. Chandra Hayes

Hayes’ broad range of operational and strategic experience includes serving as the Dean of Students for Chesterfield County Public Schools and later as an assistant principal with Hanover County Public Schools, where she coordinated programming for a specialty center focused on career pathways for health sciences, STEM, and public safety. She also directed Hanover’s Regional Governor's School for Career and Technical Advancement. In her most recent leadership position, returning to Chesterfield County Public Schools, she supervised professionals in such vital student support areas as counseling, school psychology, social work, health services, pre-K education, equity, and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). These support areas are prioritized in Learning for All, the strategic plan for Albemarle County Public Schools.

“Paramount among the impressive and varied credentials that Dr. Hayes brings to our division is her proven effectiveness as a strong instructional leader,” said Dr. Matthew Haas, ACPS Superintendent of Schools. “What really rises to the top when you speak with Dr. Hayes is her passion for keeping the focus at all times on students. She builds strong teams, is courageous in how she embraces and manages change, and has a keen sense for how to effectively work across all demographic groups to address achievement gaps,” he said.

As Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, Hayes will be responsible for collaboratively implementing all curriculum and instructional programs and practices; working directly with principals on staffing plans; teaming with the Office of Strategic Planning, Accountability & Research, and Program Evaluation on the development of student performance assessments and goals; partnering with the Director of Professional Development to align division-wide professional learning offerings with the division’s instructional strategies; leading the division’s instructional coaching program; and supervising Special Education and Student Services, federal programs, and intervention supports.

“It was clear to me from the moment I read the ACPS strategic plan and its mission statement that this school division understands the depth of commitment and partnership it will take to close achievement gaps and to bring to life its convictions that every student can learn at a high level and that every student can succeed in school, in their careers, and as family and community leaders,” Hayes said.

Among the most immediate priorities for Hayes, the superintendent emphasized, is the successful implementation of the recommendations of an audit of instructional strategies, programs and resources completed by Bellwether Education Partners. Bellwether is a national education research and analysis organization that advises education practitioners in the public and private sectors. Bellwether will present its findings to the Albemarle County School Board at the board’s June 8 meeting.

The audit was directed by Haas last fall to address student learning gaps between white students and students of color. Its specific focus is on reading and math in grades K-5 and Algebra I. Hayes will lead the work of teams of educators, staff and parents to implement changes based upon audit recommendations.

Also prominent among Hayes’ responsibilities will be preparing the division for the updated curriculum requirements of the Virginia Literacy Act, passed by the Virginia General Assembly in 2022. Beginning with the 2024-25 school year, the new requirements include basing instruction in the earliest grades on evidence-based instruction and intervention, expanding at-home resources for parents to support their child’s reading progress, and the development by each school division in the Commonwealth of a literacy plan for instruction, intervention support, and professional development.

“I am eagerly looking forward to July 1,” Hayes said. “Throughout my career, I have worked diligently and tirelessly to become an accomplished educator. This is personal for me—I am determined to join with the highly dedicated educators, staff and parents of Albemarle County Public Schools to ensure that achievement gaps are minimized and equitable practices are maximized. The school division is well-positioned to meet its commitments to its students, families and staff. This is a transformational time to be joining this highly motivated school division,” she said.

Hayes earned her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies from Virginia Tech, and she holds a master’s degree in Secondary Science Education from City College of New York. She received her undergraduate degree in Secondary Science Education from East Carolina University. Hayes began her career in 2003 as a high school science teacher in Chesterfield. She also taught science at the Urban Assembly School for the Performing Arts and at the Bronx Leadership Academy, both in New York City, before returning to Virginia in 2011.

Currently a resident of Caroline County, Hayes said, “My husband, Stacey, and I, are eagerly looking forward to joining the Albemarle County Public Schools family.”

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