Parents concerned, confused by Radford City Schools superintendent’s abrupt departure

‘I want answers. I think everyone in the community wants answers.’

RADFORD, Va. – Parents in the Radford community are speaking out after the abrupt resignation of Robert Graham, Radford City Public School’s superintendent.

“I want answers. I think everyone in the community wants answers. Why?” said Erica Mendoza, a mom of three kids in the district.

Graham’s resignation was announced during Tuesday night’s school board meeting.

Graham, in tears, addressed a crowd of supporters, saying, “I’m heartbroken and I don’t want to leave this place, but I don’t have many options. You all mean the world to me.”

A former school board member tells 10 News that Graham was pushed out by the board, saying they don’t approve of his leadership.

Mendoza says her 9-year-old son Rogileo is on the autism spectrum. She says Graham always went out of his way to make sure Rogileo had what he needed.

“He is the heart of our community,” Mendoza said. “It means so much as a mom to know that your kid’s not going to fall behind or your kid’s not left behind because there’s someone fighting that’s not just you.”

Rogileo says Graham was his friend.

“He was my favorite friend,” Rogileo said. “He helps me to calm down.”

Robin Fisher, a parent of two high schoolers, says the decision wasn’t fair.

“I was just very upset about it because I like Rob Graham,” Fisher said. “He was good with my kids.”

Mendoza says the school board left parents in the dark. She and Fisher are now wondering what comes next.

“Where is this going to go now? I mean, is it going to be for the better? For the worse? I mean, I don’t know,” Fisher said.

“It’s not easy. It’s so not easy to see him leave. We don’t want him to leave,” Mendoza said.

Robert Graham and the Radford City School Board released the following joint statement on the resignation.

On June 4, 2023, Superintendent Robert Graham notified the School Board of his intent to voluntarily resign his position as Division Superintendent. Last evening, the Radford City School Board formally accepted Mr. Graham’s resignation.

“Rob Graham has been a valued and dedicated employee of the Radford City Schools as an administrator and, for the last 8 years, as Division Superintendent,” said Board Chair Jenny Riffe. “As a native of Radford, Rob has led the division with an abiding love for the children in our school division and a commitment to their success,” added Ms. Riffe. “The School Board wishes him well and success in his future professional endeavors.”

Rob Graham added, “I would like to thank the RCPS students, staff, and school community members for all of the support they have provided to my family and me during my tenure in this special school division. I have great memories that will be with me for the rest of my life. RCPS and “The Bobcats” will always have a special place in my heart. I wish them nothing but great success in the future!”

Superintendent Robert Graham & Radford City Public Schools

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