Alexandria City Public Schools has a new leader, and she’s the first Black woman to take up the mantle.
Melanie Kay-Wyatt, who has been serving as ACPS’s interim superintendent, was appointed the new permanent schools chief Thursday evening by the board.
The announcement was met with thunderous applause.
“This is hard,” an emotional Kay-Wyatt said during Thursday’s meeting, repeatedly reaching for tissues. “Because you know my dedication to the school and to students. I said I was going to do this.”
Kay-Wyatt thanked the school board for picking her to lead a “division of diversity and commitment,” as well as the system’s collaborative efforts.
“It’s been a challenging school year,” Kay-Wyatt said. “I look forward to continuing the work that’s ahead of us, for our students, for our staff and our greater community. The work we do is hard, but what I do know is that when we come together, everything is possible.”
“To be sitting in this role, before my colleagues, before students who look like me, it is truly an honor. It is truly an honor to serve as the first Black woman superintendent for Alexandria City Public Schools.”
“Now it’s time to get to work.”
Alexandria City School Board Chair Meagan Alderton thanked Kay-Wyatt for “stepping up when she was needed last summer and adapting quickly to serving ACPS as interim superintendent” in press release.
“She is an experienced, forward-thinking leader, and is exactly what we need for our school division’s success. She brings to this role a focus on academic excellence and social-emotional well-being for our students, and will continue to emphasize and ensure that we have safe schools,” Alderton said.
Kay-Wyatt has been the interim superintendent since August 2022. She was selected from a pool of 35 applicants in a national search that started November of last year.
Her new permanent role goes into effect July 1.
More than 15,700 students go to school in ACPS classrooms. According to the district, they hail from more than 119 countries and speak 124 languages.
Feature photo courtesy ACPS
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