School board announces new superintendent, groups mount concerns

Dr. Michelle Reid will replace Dr. Scott Brabrand as FCPS chief executive

The Fairfax County School Board has appointed a new superintendent. Dr. Michelle Reid from Northshore School District in Washington comes to the district after a months-long search process. The vote to confirm Dr. Reid to the position was held at the April 14th board meeting.

Dr. Michelle Reid (photo via FCPS)

Controversy has swirled her appointment with the Fairfax NAACP and student groups raising concerns about her experience and lack of public input in the superintendent search process. Two school board members, Karen Keys-Gamarra (D-At Large) and Dr. Ricardy Anderson (D-Mason), moved to delay the vote to appoint Dr. Reid, citing community concerns. Advocacy groups, Keys-Gamarra, and Dr. Anderson all noted the student population of Northshore School District, Dr. Reid’s previous post, in their scrutiny of her appointment. Northshore has an enrollment of 22,000 students across 35 schools; FCPS educates 180,000 students in 199 schools and centers.

The vote to appoint Dr. Reid passed with 9 of the board’s 12 members voting in favor of Dr. Reid holding FCPS’s most powerful staff position. Dr. Ricardy Anderson, Karen Keys-Gamarra, and Karen Corbett Sanders (D- Mt. Vernon) voted against the appointment. In a release announcing her appointment, the board pointed to Dr. Reid’s “creativity in successfully meeting the needs of students” and “strength in both personal and organizational communication.” They also praised her equity work.

Dr. Reid will replace Dr. Scott Brabrand who announced he would be leaving FCPS last summer, his contract ends June 2022.