Loudoun County Public Schools
spence loudoun

Loudoun County (Va.) school board picks Virginia Beach superintendent as the district's next leader

June 5, 2023
The Loudoun County board fired the previous superintendent last year after a grand jury found he had mishandled a student sexual assault case.

The Loudoun County (Va.) School Board has chosen a new superintendent, six months after the former head of schools was fired and indicted as part of an investigation into sexual assaults from 2021.

The Washington Post reports that board announced the hiring of Virginia Beach (Va.) Superintendent Aaron Spence to take over leadership of the 82,000-student Loudoun County district.

The district's handling of the sexual assaults colored much of the tenure of the previous superintendent, Scott Ziegler. The assaults, committed by a high school student, drew national attention. Parents and community members criticized district officials for transferring the assailant from a high school where he had assaulted a student in a girls’ bathroom to another school where, months later, he assaulted a student in an empty classroom. The teen was later convicted in both cases.

A special grand jury found that the district badly mishandled the sexual assaults, and it called Ziegler a liar. The school board fired Ziegler shortly after publication of the report. He and school system spokesman Wayde Byard were indicted and are awaiting a trial scheduled in the fall.

Daniel Smith, the school district’s chief of staff, was appointed interim superintendent after Ziegler’s firing.

Since 2014, Spence has led Virginia Beach City Public Schools, a district with more than 65,000 students and 10,000 employees. 

Prior to Virginia Beach, Spence was superintendent of Moore County schools in North Carolina. He held administrative positions in the Houston (Texas) and Chesterfield County (Va.) districts, and was principal of Deep Run High School in Henrico County, Va.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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