After five years as superintendent of the Beaufort County School District, Valerie Truesdale has announced that she plans to retire from her position. She has accepted an offer from the 140,000-student Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system to oversee its technology programs.
After announcing her retirement from Beaufort County last week, Truesdale interviewed for the North Carolina position on Monday. Her appointment was announced Tuesday night after the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board voted its approval, and she will begin work in October.
Her new job will place her closer to her family, a major reason she cited last week for her retirement. Two of her three children, and two of her grandchildren, live in the Charlotte area and will be attending public schools there.
“I am immensely proud of our schools’ progress in Beaufort County,” she said. “We have excellent teachers, staff and school and district leaders with the skills and commitment needed to ensure that every learner reads on grade level, meets state standards and is well prepared for college, career or the military.”
She also said that recently approved changes in South Carolina’s state’s retirement system would make it financially advantageous for her to retire.
The Beaufort County Board of Education has not yet met to discuss plans to replace Truesdale.
Truesdale marks her 30th year as an educator, including serving as a high school teacher, an assistant principal, a high school principal, a senior executive at the South Carolina Department of Education, a district chief instructional officer and as district superintendent in Oconee and Beaufort counties. She was named South Carolina’s Superintendent of the Year in 2009 and the American Association of School Administrators’ first Women in School Leadership award recipient in 2010. Earlier this summer, she received the William B. Harley Lifetime Achievement Award from the South Carolina Association of School Administrators.
Dr. Truesdale was selected as Beaufort County’s district superintendent in 2007, and although student poverty rates increased and budgets have been reduced during the past five years, student achievement has improved on numerous state and federal measures.