Superintendent Karen Garza has filled key positions in the Fairfax County school system’s administration, starting to give shape to her new organizational plan for the district.
The new deputy superintendent and three new top administrators represent the first step toward the new structure for the FCPS administration, which Garza first laid out May 16.
The newly created positions of chief academic officer, chief operating officer and chief of staff will join the deputy superintendent, and all four will serve as point persons for different segments of the school system. Currently, responsibilities among the administration are more diffuse; the new organization aims to streamline the chain of command.
Steven Lockard, the deputy superintendent of the Frederick County, Md., school system, will join Fairfax County as the deputy superintendent. Lockard plans to start Aug. 1, taking over for interim deputy superintendent Dan Parris, who is set to retire in July.
“I’m excited and eager to get to know the Fairfax County public school community and to work together to move the system forward,” Lockard said.
Lockard has worked in Frederick County since 1992, starting as an elementary school teacher and later working as a principal, then an associate superintendent, before taking on his current role.
Lockard is not the first to make the jump from Frederick to Fairfax, which serves more than 180,000 students to Frederick’s 40,000.
Lockard spent part of his career working for former Fairfax County Superintendent Jack Dale, who served as superintendent of Frederick from 1996-2004 before coming to Fairfax.
While in Frederick, Lockard led the reorganization of the school system’s central office, experience he can put to use as Garza implements her own reorganization.
The three top officers joining Lockard in the new administration come from within the Fairfax County school system. Kim Dockery, current assistant superintendent for special services, will become chief academic officer; Susan Quinn, current chief financial officer, will become chief operating officer; and Marty Smith, current assistant superintendent for Cluster I, will become chief of staff.
“These folks can do so much in helping us align our system,” Garza said when announcing their selection.
The chief academic officer will oversee instructional services, special education services, testing and assessment.
The chief operating officer will direct facilities and transportation services, food and nutrition services, information technology and human resources.
The chief of staff will manage communications, government relations and admissions to the magnet school Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.
The deputy superintendent will take charge of the five new school regions, which will be realigned from the current eight clusters.
“I think the combination of Dr. Lockard from the outside along with such strength of experience and understanding of Fairfax County Public Schools that these individuals bring will really serve us well,” Garza said.