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Greene's New School Superintendent Ready for Challenges

Jeck's Last Day

At a schools-wide event on Tuesday, students, faculty and staff said goodbye to Greene County superintendent David Jeck.

Jeck, who has been with Greene County schools since 2006, is leaving to become superintendent of Fauquier County schools.

Jeck first began with the school system as an assistant superintendent before taking the top job in 2008.

Greene County Public Schools will have a new leader Wednesday as Andrea Whitmarsh prepares to take over as superintendent.

"I will be leader of the team, certainly, but it is not about me," Whitmarsh said. "It's about our kids, and our parents and our families and our community, and our teachers. And the people that make our organization so special."

Whitmarsh has been with the school system for a decade, most recently serving as assistant superintendent for instruction. Having been with the schools, she knows what challenges are ahead.

"There's greater accountability, greater expectations," she said. "Our world is constantly changing, and we're having to meet those needs. But at the same time, we have diminishing resources."

Whitmarsh is beginning her new role during tough financial times for the school system. The $32 million budget is at level funding but still includes the cut of 22 staff positions.

"What's really important though is that we work together as a county, that it's not just about the school system," she said.

Still, Whitmarsh is ready to prepare the nearly 3,000 Greene County students for the future.

"Our world has changed and continues to change," she said. "Our students need skills that they didn't need 20 and 30 years ago."

Skills, she said, that go beyond the English and math -- things like communication, adaptability, problem solving and technology.

"The jobs that our students will hold, some of them have not even been thought of yet," Whitmarsh said. "And so they have to have skills where they can adapt and change based on what's going on in their world."

As Whitmarsh prepares for this next step, she said she looks forward to tackling the challenges and the promise ahead.

"I'm looking forward to all of it," she said. "My head is kind of swimming these days. I'm not getting a lot of sleep because my wheels are turning constantly with ideas. I'm just so excited to get started."

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