Credit: Credit: Albemarle County Public Schools

Dr. Pamela R. Moran has been named the new Executive Director of the Virginia School Consortium for Learning (VaSCL). A statewide education organization headquartered in Palmyra, VaSCL includes a membership of more than 70 school divisions across the state. Its mission is to improve the quality of K-12 education in the state by providing high-quality professional learning to educators and by facilitating the sharing of best practices among school divisions.

Founded in 1986 as a partnership that also included the University of Virginia’s Graduate School of Education, the Curry School, VaSCL was organized around the principle that reforms to improve the nation’s educational system are best achieved through collaborative efforts between public schools and colleges.

In addition to serving as the Superintendent of Albemarle County Public Schools for the past 13 years, Dr. Moran was a member of the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV), established by the Virginia General Assembly and Governor to “to promote the development and operation of an educationally and economically sound, vigorous, progressive, and coordinated system of higher education in the Commonwealth.”

“We’re very fortunate and pleased Dr. Moran will be our new Executive Director,” said Dr. Cecil Snead, the VaSCL Chair. “Her vision and proven leadership over the years fit perfectly with the membership’s focus on professional development as we strive to stay current with and enhance the landscape of education in Virginia. We wholeheartedly embrace her leadership and welcome the energy she will bring to forging new pathways that benefit educators and students in Virginia,” he said.

The Consortium sponsors a series of workshops and conferences throughout the year on professional development and provides its member school divisions with the latest educational research around innovative instructional practices. It also identifies opportunities for school divisions to apply for grant funding for their program objectives.

At Dr. Moran’s direction, Albemarle County Public Schools has made professional development a continuing budget priority, and this year, named a seasoned educator as the division’s first director of professional development in several years.

A leading advocate of an educational model that prepares students for “success in their century, not mine,” Dr. Moran emphasizes the value of student-led research, project-based learning, and contemporary learning spaces over more conventional models that rely upon worksheets and multiple-choice tests.

She was selected by her peers across the Commonwealth as Virginia’s 2015 Superintendent of the Year and subsequently was one of four statewide superintendents of the year to be selected as a finalist for National Superintendent of the Year.

Among the most significant challenges facing public education today, Dr. Moran says, is closing learning opportunity gaps for all children. One solution, she has said, is improving the ability of school divisions to develop the whole child. Her strong views led to her selection to serve on the Aspen Institute’s National Commission on Social, Emotional and Academic Development.

Dr. Moran has appeared on the cover of Education Week’s Digital Directions magazine as a “National Mover and Shaker” for her advocacy of a curricular digital integration model. She also was selected by eSchool Media as one of its national Tech-Savvy Superintendents of the Year, and under her leadership, the school division received the Virginia Governor’s Tech Innovation Award.

Dr. Moran’s career in public education began as a high school science teacher. She subsequently served as a central office science coordinator and staff developer, elementary school principal, director of instruction, assistant superintendent for instruction, and adjunct instructor in educational leadership for the University of Virginia’s Curry School and the School of Continuing Education. She holds a B.S. in Biology from Furman University and master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Virginia. She also is an alumnus of the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business Executive Educators Leadership Institute.