August 2018

Dear Neighbors,

     Welcome to another exciting school year in Franklin County! I am honored to be the Superintendent of such a progressive and innovative school system.  I believe I have the best job in the world, and I am honored to work with very talented educators who instruct the very best students.

     Our students’ efforts have been noted on the worldwide stage. Our high school theatre program was invited this past summer to perform in Scotland.  Our middle school and high school Odyssey of the Mind teams continue to compete at the regional, state, or world levels.  Our teams have opportunities to use their creativity to solve complex problems.  Our Career and Technical Education programs have been very competitive on the Virginia and national levels, and athletic teams continue to shine with our Men's Basketball qualifying for State quarter finals.

Academically, we offer innovative programs such as New Tech at Gereau and, opening this fall, Eagle Tech at the high school. This unique learning environment encourages students to be directors of their own learning through a problem-based learning approach. We have opened STEM and STEAM Labs at most of our elementary schools where students also use a problem-based learning approach in the areas of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.

We continue to strive to promote a safe and inviting learning environment. We have worked with our local law enforcement officials to further strengthen our security procedures and practices. It is our hope to expand the high school to allow us to enhance our Science and Career and Technical Education programs to meet the needs of local employers, and to provide our students with experiences that will help them to be successful in higher education. The expansion is specifically designed to close and secure the high school campus. In addition, we hope to start our renovations of the middle school to bring the HVAC and security systems up-to-date.

What can you do for us? For one thing, continue to attend our many extracurricular and athletic activities that happen almost every day at our schools. Our students like to see “the home folks” in the crowd, regardless of playing home or away.  Also, continue to take an active role in your child’s education; learning does not end at the schoolhouse door. Parents and other community members are our partners in education. Whether it is checking homework or volunteering at your child’s school, it is all important. If you have a question or concern, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher or the school administration. Together we can solve or fix most anything.

My best wishes for a great school year,

W. Mark Church, Ph.D.

Division Superintendent


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