VERONA --In a meeting that stretched into early Friday morning, the Augusta County School Board named a replacement for departing superintendent Chuck Bishop. Assistant Superintendent for Personnel Eric Bond will take over the job, effective July 1.
"The timing of the change made it difficult," school board member David Shiflett said. "Had we gone to a traditional search, it would have been October or November [before a new superintendent was selected]. It was important to go ahead and find someone."
Shiflett and other school board members said they were concerned about starting the school year without a superintendent in place. In selecting Bond, the board picks someone who was in the running during the last search. Bond was one of the finalists when Bishop was originally selected.
Before becoming assistant superintendent for personnel, Bond served as assistant superintendent for operations for Augusta County from 2006 to 2009. He had also served as principal at Stuarts Draft High School. He has a bachelor's degree in math from James Madison and a doctorate in educational leadership from Virginia Tech.
"I'm very pleased to take on this role," Bond said after the decision was announced. "I'm honored to serve a school division I'm dedicated to."
Thursday's session was originally expected to just serve as a vote to consider the resignation of Bishop and to hold an exit interview with him.
Bishop announced his resignation last week to accept the superintendent’s position in Clarke County, effective on July 1.
School Board Chairman Nick Collins offered his gratitude to Bishop for the superintendent’s efforts “over the last four years.”
Bishop was also thanked for his support and openness by Jeff Wilson, the president of the Augusta County Education Association.
During Thursday’s regular meeting, the school board passed a motion endorsing the construction of a new Riverheads Elementary School.
The motion called for a school that would house 750 students and cost $18.6 million. The project still requires approval of the Augusta County Board of Supervisors.
The new elementary school is to be built on a site adjacent to the current Riverheads Elementary.
School board members said what is also needed is a plan for the renovation of other elementary schools in the county, including Cassell Elementary outside Waynesboro.