(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia)—Last evening, following candidate interviews on October 18 and a public hearing on November 9, the Albemarle County School Board selected a new school board representative for the Rio Magisterial District. Board members voted to appoint a former Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) teacher and central office administrator, Charles Pace, to the seat vacated by Katrina Callsen, who served the Rio district from November 2017 through October 2023.
Pace will begin his service on the board as soon as he is sworn in on Monday, December 18. In accordance with state law, the Rio seat will be on the ballot during the next general election on November 5, 2024, and the winner of that election will serve the remainder of Callsen’s term, which expires on December 31, 2025.
Among his qualifications, Pace spent 18 years of his career teaching biology and chemistry at Albemarle High School, first from 1986 to 1998, and then again from 2009 to 2015. In between, he served as the division’s K-12 science instructional coordinator from 1998 through 2015. After 29 years as an ACPS educator and athletic coach, Pace served as science department chairperson for Blue Ridge School from 2015 to 2022.
When asked about his areas of expertise and knowledge relevant to school board service, Pace focused on his experience with school construction, education and curriculum development, and, as a nod to his time in the Naval Reserve Intelligence Program, the military.
Relevant to school construction, Pace previously worked with the ACPS Building Services Department to upgrade equipment in the division’s middle and high school science labs. He also participated in the planning process for the Math, Engineering & Science Academy wing at Albemarle High School. “I believe this experience will be informative,” wrote Pace in his application, “because we will never stop modifying educational spaces, adding to existing buildings, and building new schools. In fact, the evolution of learning spaces is an important consideration for any school system.”
During his interview, Pace highlighted his extensive high school background, both in the classroom and on the athletic fields; the experience he gained at the elementary and middle school levels as the division’s K-12 science coordinator; and his background in instructional technology. He also talked about his complete support of the division’s strategic plan, particularly the measurable objectives aligned with each goal, the Portrait of a Learner, and the plan’s focus on reducing the achievement gap, creating cutting-edge curriculum, and recruiting high-quality staff.
As he reflected on the prospect of earning a position on the school board, Pace said, “I’ve served on some really awesome teams in my life… highly functional teams. I enjoyed being part of that, and I would hope that this would be a similar experience.”
Pace was one of six residents of the Rio district who applied to fill the vacancy created when Callsen announced her resignation on September 14, 2023. Pace’s interview, which was open to the public, can be viewed in the recording of the October 19 Special School Board Meeting, beginning at the 2:11:20 mark.
The board’s organizational meeting on January 11, 2024, will be Pace’s first meeting as the Rio district representative. During that meeting, board members will select a chair and vice-chair for 2024, decide committee appointments for the new year, and set meeting dates for the year. Unless otherwise noted, school board meetings are held in Lane Auditorium at the County Office Building at 401 McIntire Road in Charlottesville. Board meetings are open to the public, who can attend in person or virtually by video livestream.
Pictured: Charles Pace
CONTACT: Helen Dunn, Interim Public Affairs & Strategic Communications Officer