LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Lynchburg School Board has hired the next superintendent of schools.
During a special meeting Thursday, the school board announced the appointment of Dr. Crystal M. Edwards as the 13th superintendent of Lynchburg City Schools.
Currently, Edwards is the superintendent for Lawrence Township Public Schools in New Jersey.
“I am excited to join the Lynchburg educational family and work with the talented staff, engaged community, and supportive School Board to continue to pursue and achieve excellence for our children, staff and families,” Edwards said.
Edwards’ appointment marks the end of a nearly five-month national search that used input from more than 700 community stakeholders, LCS employees, parents and students.
More than 70 applications were received for the position and interviews were conducted with multiple highly qualified candidates from within Virginia and across the country.
The board says that Edwards' qualifications, collaborative leadership style and accomplishments convinced them that she was most suited to lead Lynchburg City School Division to full accreditation and success for all students.
“The School Board is honored that Dr. Edwards will be assuming this critical leadership position for the City of Lynchburg,” said School Board Chairman Michael Nilles. “Her career in public education has been marked by a steady rise of taking on increasing responsibilities and improving academic achievement for students from all backgrounds and economic circumstances. Public education in Lynchburg faces a complex combination of fiscal, educational and social challenges. The Board expects continued improvement in school accreditation and student achievement under Dr. Edwards’ stewardship.”
Edwards has more than 31 years of experience in education.
She earned her bachelor's degree in secondary education from Penn State University, her master's degree in chemistry from Rutgers University and her doctorate in educational leadership, management and policy from Seton Hall University.
During her career, she has taught multiple high school science courses and served as both the supervisor of math and science and a director of math and science for two school districts.
In 2005, Edwards became the assistant superintendent for Lawrence Township Public Schools.
While being assistant superintendent, she accomplished many things with the help of the administrative team and staff including revising the district’s curriculum and establishing after-school math and literacy programs for at-risk students.
Six years later, Edwards was appointed as the superintendent of the district. The district has a student population of about 4,000 students in seven schools.
Lynchburg City Schools serve more than 8,000 students, according to the district's website.
During her tenure as superintendent, schools in her district received multiple honors, including, but not limited to, National and New Jersey District and Schools of Character, Sustainable Jersey for Schools Bronze Certified, NAMM Best Communities for Music Education, College Board AP District Honor Roll and New Jersey Monthly Top 100 High Schools.
When not working, Edwards and her husband, Brian, enjoy the outdoors and spend their free time bike riding, hiking, swimming and running half marathons. They are the proud parents of a blended family of five children: Robyn, Trey, Miracle, Malcolm and Laila.
Dr. Larry A. Massie will continue to serve as interim superintendent, under a month-to-month contract through, March 31.