Loudoun School System Loses 3 Administrators, Gains 2

Loudoun’s public schools are seeing more turnover among its top administrators.

The School Board on Tuesday officially hired replacements for two assistant superintendents who are leaving, and announced the retirement of another longtime administrator.

Ashley Ellis was named assistant superintendent for instruction, after serving as director of instructional programs since March 2016. She steps into the role held by Cynthia Ambrose for the past two years.

Ambrose is leaving to take the position of deputy superintendent for learning services for the public school system in Charleston, SC; she said she also needs to be closer to family.

Ellis steps in after working alongside Ambrose to improve the school system’s instructional coaching, project-based learning, virtual learning, gifted education, school improvement and assessment and accountability programs.

Before coming to Loudoun County, she served as a systemic partnership coach for the Buck Institute for Education, supporting and coaching district-level leadership teams from multiple school districts. Ellis began her professional career as a secondary English teacher in York County and subsequently served that school division as an online learning specialist and coordinator of licensed staff development.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from the College of William & Mary; a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Virginia Tech; and a doctorate of education, educational policy, planning and leadership from the College of William & Mary.

Rich Contartesi is resigning after serving for five years as assistant superintendent for technology. He was the first to hold the position, then newly created by the board to help guide the division’s expansion of Bring Your Own Technology program and other classroom technology initiatives.

“The board knew we had a long way to go in terms of technology. You put us on a trajectory of where we needed to go,” Eric Hornberger (Ashburn) told Contartesi at Tuesday’s meeting. He said that he used to frequently hear about computers breaking down and shotty internet access. “I don’t hear that anymore, and I think that’s a wonderful thing. Of any single person in LCPS who is responsible for making that happen, it is you.”

Superintendent Eric Williams said Vincent Scheivert has been hired for the position, under the new title of assistant superintendent for digital innovation. The title was changed “to reflect the spirit and focus of its work,” he added. Williams will formally introduce Shriver when he attends the board’s next meeting in August. He comes to Loudoun from the Charlottesville area, where he’s worked as chief information officer of Albemarle County Public Schools. He begins the position July 26.

The School Board also announced the retirement of Executive Director of Planning and Legislative Services Sam Adamo, who’s worked for the Loudoun school system since 1997. He’s been in charge of predicting enrollment growth—how many students will need seats, where they’ll need them, and when—during decades when Loudoun ranked among the fastest growing counties in the nation.

“Our success in terms of planning and buildings being ready, generally speaking, is a result of the tremendous contributions that Dr. Adamo has made in his tenure here,” Williams said.

Chairman Jeff Morse (Dulles) jokingly apologized to a smiling Adamo for “bugging him” about boundaries even before he was on the board.

“He is responsible for all of the enrollment projections—not for the growth,” Morse said. “…If there is one man with a level head who could guide us through countless boundary changes, it is Sam.”


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