Dear Henrico colleagues, families, students and community,

My heart is full as I write to you for the final time as superintendent. I head into retirement with immense pride. Each year I see the joy of our graduating students and their loved ones at the Siegel Center. Every student who walks across that stage is a success story thanks to our combined efforts. It takes a Pre-K through 12 team to make it happen.

Together, we’ve helped our schools make big strides toward full accreditation. We have maintained an intense focus on literacy. Because of our revised Code of Student Conduct and additional student support systems, our focus has been on giving students a hand when they need it and keeping students in school.

Thanks to the Henrico County Board of Supervisors and the School Board, we’ve been able to invest in our extraordinary staff, making up for lost time during the Great Recession with five pay increases for eligible employees since 2015. And, we started the process of making our middle schools models for the next century.

We embraced new ways for students and communities to thrive by working with the Henrico Education Foundation to create after-school hubs for wraparound services to reach more children and families. We saw the launch of the Achievable Dream Academy, and of course, the explosive growth of innovative career and technical education options. Together, we strengthened the bonds between schools and families through family advocates, and we expanded our community outreach.

Because of the overwhelming commitment of our citizens in supporting the meals tax and 2016 bond referendum, we’ve completed hundreds of projects to give new life to old schools, as we build for the generations who will lead our county to even greater heights.

We have done this together: our staff, our families, our students and our community. When we work together, we are unstoppable.

To our teachers, librarians and counselors: Thank you for the hard work, late nights, and deep caring you exhibit each day to educate our children and help them grow.

To our building leaders and administrators: Thank you for your tireless work to provide our children and staff with the relationships, the programs and the environment to prosper.

To our instructional aides and support staff: You are the unsung heroes, but make no mistake: we know how hard you work, how much you care and how lucky we are to have you.  

To our bus drivers, school nutrition staff, construction and maintenance, and technology teams: Thank you. The best instruction in the world means nothing if children can’t get to school safely, get the nutritional fuel they need for success, and learn in safe, comfortable, cutting-edge surroundings.

To our students: I marvel at what you have taught me. Thank you for allowing me to be part of your journeys. I could not be more proud.

To our families: Thank you for entrusting us with your children, and for being our daily partners in giving them the tools to unlock new worlds.

To our Board of Supervisors: Thank you for your steadfast support, and your unwavering belief that a strong community is built on strong public schools.

To our County Manager: John, thank you for being such a tremendous supporter of the school division and of the work we have undertaken. You are an appreciated and respected colleague, and a friend.

And to our School Board: Thank you for your confidence you have shown in me, your vision and counsel. Henrico County Public Schools has been built on a foundation of excellence; the stronger, broader foundation you are building will enable us to build even higher.

As of July 1, Dr. Amy E. Cashwell takes over as your superintendent. Much has been shared already about our incoming leader, but for another look you can check out this page. I’ve truly enjoyed getting to know Dr. Cashwell over these past few weeks. Not only does she have impeccable credentials, but her caring nature and good heart are evident, and that is fundamental to the work that we do. We are not a business, but a human endeavor, and she gets that. I am so happy for you, and for our students and families, that our School Board has made such a winning choice.

The future looks brighter than ever.

With deepest gratitude and warm regards,

Patrick Kinlaw