HOPEWELL, Va. – Dr. Melody D. Hackney, Superintendent of Hopewell City Schools, was named Virginia’s Superintendent of the Year Thursday morning.
Hackney, who is in her fourth year as Superintendent of Hopewell City Public Schools, received the honor during a virtual Ceremony to Celebrate Virginia’s Superintendents.
When Hackney took over the school division, only one city school was accredited.
“In order to turn Hopewell’s situation around, Dr. Hackney focused her students and staff members on three things: what was being taught and how; keeping what was working and eliminating what was not; and creating success by providing students with new opportunities and experiences,” said a Virginia Association of School Superintendents release.
“The strategy that proved most effective was to provide real-life experiences for her students so that they could see the connections between the knowledge and skills they were learning and how they were being applied.
At the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year, all of Hopewell’s schools were accredited.
Additionally, under Hackney’s leadership the school system became the first in the area to dedicate a fleet of buses for Wi-Fi use for their students during the coronavirus pandemic.
The goal of the program is to help close the digital divide as about 1,000 of district’s nearly 4,200 students don't have reliable internet access at home.
Hackney was selected from among eight regional finalists by several organizations including the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Presidents of the Virginia Board of Education, the Virginia Education Association, and the Virginia Parent and Teacher Association.
As Virginia's Superintendent of the Year, Hackney will be eligible for the National Superintendent of the Year Award, which will be presented in February 2020 in New Orleans.