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Chesterfield schools appoint new, interim leader

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. — Donald “Rusty” Fairheart was appointed interim superintendent of Chesterfield County Schools during a special meeting Tuesday morning. During the same meeting, the Chesterfield School Board accepted the resignation of now former superintendent James Lane.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam recently appointed Dr. Lane as Virginia’s next State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

“It’s a bittersweet day,” Chesterfield County School Board Chair John Erbach said. “We’ve been working with Dr. Lane as our superintendent for two years now and during that time the school board has implemented and begun a number of key initiatives. We’re proud of the work we’ve done in Chesterfield and we think that we’re a leader in innovation throughout the state.”

Fairheart, who was Chesterfield Schools Chief of Staff, was approved unanimously by the Chesterfield School Board.

Erbach said he expected the change in leadership to be a seamless one because Fairheart has been a part of many ongoing initiatives.

“School start times, the equity community, school safety task force and Mr. Fairheart has been there since the very beginning for each of those efforts,” Erbach said

Fairheart will officially take over as interim superintendent on June 1.

Earlier this year, Henrico Schools Superintendent Pat Kinlaw announced his plan to retire. The county said it hoped to name the new superintendent by July 1.