Surry schools superintendent to retire

Published 1:24 pm Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Surry County Public Schools Superintendent Serbrenia Sims announced at the School Board’s May 14 meeting that she will retire at the end of the school year.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve this community, and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have worked alongside such dedicated educators, staff, students, and families,” Sims wrote in a letter published to the school division’s Facebook page following the meeting.

Sims began her 17-year tenure with SCPS in 2007 as principal of Luther Porter Jackson Middle School, was promoted to assistant superintendent in 2009 and became superintendent in 2020. She received her doctoral degree in education from the College of William & Mary in 1989 and, prior to joining Surry schools, held positions with York County and Williamsburg-James City County public schools.

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“Throughout my time here in Surry County, I have witnessed the incredible dedication and passion of our teachers and staff, the boundless potential of our students, and the unwavering support of our community,” Sims said. “Together, we have accomplished so much, from implementing innovative educational programs to thriving during a pandemic.”

Sims’ first year as superintendent coincided with the early spread of COVID-19 in Virginia, prompting then-Gov. Ralph Northam to order all schools statewide to close. Sims oversaw Surry’s transition to virtual classes and the gradual return to in-person instruction at its three schools.

“While I may be retiring from my role as Superintendent, I am not retiring from my passion for education,” Sims said. “I look forward to staying connected to this wonderful community and finding new ways to contribute to the field of education in the future.”

Per state law, Surry’s School Board has 180 days starting July 1 to name Sims’ successor.

The Virginia School Boards Association, of which Surry is a member, maintains a list of eligible superintendent candidates who have the education and experience required by state law. School boards also have the option of appointing a superintendent from outside the education field, such as a former chief executive officer or senior military officer, if they make such a request to the Virginia Department of Education.