Adam Hastings

A former member of the Charlottesville School Board is set to become the next principal of Walker Upper Elementary School, according to an email sent Wednesday to parents.

“Dr. Adam Hastings comes from Piedmont Virginia Community College, where he has been the Dean of Business, Mathematics, and Technology,” wrote Gary Blair, the director of human resources for Charlottesville City Schools.

Hastings resigned from the School Board in early March after losing eligibility to serve in that position due to his family’s move to Albemarle County. The School Board appoint James Bryant today and the public will have the choice to elect a replacement in the Nov. 6 election.

Hastings had been elected to the school board in Nov. 2015 in an uncontested race. He has also served as assistant principal at Charlottesville High School and served as the director of the Charlottesville Albemarle Technology Center between 2011 and 2014.

“Working in other area school divisions, he began his career teaching English and has experiences at the elementary, middle, and high school-level,” Blair added.

Following his resignation from the School Board, Hastings said in an interview that he found he missed working in primary education.

“After I left the School Board, I just felt like a part of my life was missing,” he said. “So when the position at Walker Upper opened up, I jumped at the chance.”

Beth Cheuk, spokeswoman for the city schools, said the position was posted on Feb. 13, before Hastings resigned. However, Hastings said the job did not influence his departure.

Juandiego Wade, chairman of the School Board, also said he didn’t think Hastings’ departure was related to his new job.

Hastings holds a B.A. in English from North Carolina State and earned an M.A. at UNC Chapel Hill. He received an Ed.D. from the University of Virginia.

“I have been an educator in Central Virginia for 14 years now and for ten of those years I was a K-12 person and got to know the local schools,” Hastings said in an interview.

Hastings said he has enjoyed working at PVCC but being on the school board made him realize his true calling.

“K-12 is where I belong and when a position came open I thought what an amazing place it would be to combine my school board experience, my city experience and my county experience,” he added.

Hastings will assume the position in July. He will replace Kenneth Leatherwood, who has been serving in the position on an interim basis since Linda Humphries resigned in October. Humphries is now an instructional coach at Jackson-Via Elementary School.

One member of the Walker Parent-Teacher Organization said she is excited about Hastings becoming principal.

“My impression is that he truly loves kids, is approachable, very smart, strategic, and forward-thinking,” said Serena Gruia. “During the interview process, his view of the principal role really stood out. He wants to create and sustain an environment in which all students feel safe, creative, fulfilled, and excited to go to school.”