BROADLANDS, Va. - From contentious school board meetings to national controversies. It’s no secret Loudoun County Public Schools has been in the spotlight for a magnitude of reasons.
Despite all that, the new superintendent, Dr. Aaron Spence, says it’s a wonderful opportunity to help lead the school division forward.
Dr. Spence is coming from Virginia Beach City Public Schools. He says his first objective is to hear what changes the community wants to see.
"We’re gonna make sure we answer people's questions, and we talk often and openly and acknowledge any mistakes we’ve made and make sure we’re moving forward in a positive direction," Dr. Spence told FOX 5.
His entrance comes six months after the former Superintendent Dr. Scott Ziegler was fired and indicted amid the mishandling of two sexual assault cases. A judge just ordered the school district to release the details of the investigation.
"My job as superintendent is to make sure we always comply with the letter of the law and if we have an order from a judge to release that report to the attorney general then I’m confident that they will do that," Dr. Spence said.
As a result, families are calling for transparency moving forward.
"The community lost confidence in our schools and in the education system. They don’t trust the current school board and that requires someone very strong who can step up and really listen to people and actively act upon that," said Viktoria Hunyadi, LCPS Mother.
Dr. Spence mentioned that he understands the LCPS community wants to reestablish trust.
"There’s no question about the first year that I’m there, we’re going to be all about being out in our community, listening, understanding our challenges, and then working to solve those problems," he said.
Parents FOX 5 spoke with have mixed feelings about this new superintendent choice, but most are willing to give him a chance as long as his actions speak louder than words.
A lot of things went through my head because we’ve been through a lot of turmoil as a county with the past superintendent. Lies upon lies, deceit, and putting administration first and children last," said Tumay Harding, an LCPS mother.
"I’m gonna be digging more into this guy because what I found already – I don’t like," said Scott Mineo, an LCPS father.
When asked about the rise in hate speech and racial slurs within the school district, Dr. Spence says it will not be tolerated.
"It’s unacceptable, and it’s not something that I’ll tolerate when I’m superintendent," he explained. "I think the solution to that is education, building community, and helping us all get to know each other."
Dr. Spence says he starts his new role on Sept. 1.