Virginia Gov. Names New State Schools Superintendent

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A former superintendent of the year was named state superintendent of public instruction Thursday by Gov. Ralph Northam.

Chesterfield County Superintendent James Lane was named to the post, which has been filled on an interim basis since January when Steve Staples retired.

As state superintendent, Lane will make policy decisions for the nearly 1.3 million students in preschool up through 12th grade. Over the next few years, that will mean guiding implementation of new state and federal accreditation standards that determine how well schools are performing.

"I am honored to be selected for this important position, which plays such a vital role in the direction of our Commonwealth’s education system and our economy," Lane said in a statement. "I look forward to supporting Governor Northam’s vision for an education system that gives every child a shot at a successful life, no matter who they are or where they live."

Lane has led Chesterfield County schools, the fifth largest district in the state, since 2016. Before that, he was superintendent in Goochland and Middlesex counties. He's worked also as a teacher and school administrator.

He was the 2017 superintendent of the year, an honor given annually by the Virginia Association of School Superintendents.

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