(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – Albemarle County Public Schools has appointed Debora Collins, its Executive Director of Student Learning, as its Assistant Superintendent for Student Learning. Ms. Collins’ management responsibilities will include oversight of all curriculum, staffing, budget, special education, and federal programs for the school division’s 26 schools.
Ms. Collins currently is the Curriculum Leader of the Year for the state of Virginia, having been selected for the award by the Virginia Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
“Debbie has been extraordinarily valuable to the quality of instruction and the learning environments that have made Albemarle County Public Schools among the top performing school divisions in the country,” said deputy superintendent, Dr. Matthew Haas. A recent national survey included the school division as among the top five in Virginia and among the top five percent in the nation. In that survey, the school division earned an A+ for the college readiness of its graduates and As for both academics and teaching.
“These scores reflect the influence Debbie has had in our nearly 900 classrooms,” Dr. Haas added. “Some of our most ground-breaking initiatives, such as our coaching model and our performance-based assessments, were shaped by her insight and leadership. She will be very important to our success next year as we pilot our Equity & Access initiative to further advance the learning needs of all students,” he said.
Albemarle County Public Schools was among the first school divisions in the nation to adopt a coaching model in which teachers serve for five years in professional development advisory roles, supporting their colleagues in the classroom. They then return to the classroom as teachers applying the best practices and strategies they developed as coaches.
Performance-based assessments are classroom evaluations that measure how effectively classroom instruction empowers students to develop such lifelong-learning competencies as ethical behavior and respect, critical and analytical thinking, logic and reasoning, and problem-solving.
Stone-Robinson principal, Kristen Williams, an original member of the school division’s instructional coaching team, said of Ms. Collins, “Debbie works with great determination and purpose towards providing the very best educational experience for all students. She sees herself as a teacher and has never lost sight of the hard work it takes for teachers and school leaders to meet their goals in serving students.”
Ms. Collins joined Albemarle County Public Schools as a sixth-grade math teacher and served as a math coordinator for grades K-12 and as principal of Red Hill and Yancey elementary schools, as well as Greenbrier Elementary School in Charlottesville City. Prior to her appointment as Executive Director of Student Learning, she served as Albemarle County’s Assistant Director of Federal Programs, Grants and Adult Education; Director of Elementary Education; and Director of K-12 Education.
A graduate of Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education, Ms. Collins received her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Virginia.