September 22, 2023

OPS superintendent Cheryl Logan withdraws from Virginia school district superintendent search | Education

Omaha Public Schools Superintendent Cheryl Logan has taken her name out of the running for the superintendent position in Fairfax, Virginia.

Logan sent an email to OPS staff explaining the situation Saturday, the same day the Fairfax County NAACP disclosed that Logan was one of two finalists for the job to lead Fairfax County Public Schools, a district of about 180,000 students near Washington, D.C.

In a press release, the Fairfax County NAACP said it was disclosing the information after being contacted by whistleblowers concerned with the search process and the qualifications of the other finalist. The chapter vocally threw its support behind Logan, citing her accomplishments at OPS, her performance during interviews and the demographic similarities between OPS and Fairfax County. A panel met with both finalists March 28 and 29.

But in an email to staff Saturday, Logan said she informed the OPS board a week ago that she was no longer participating in the search.

“It is an honor to serve as your Superintendent, and I very much look forward to our collective work in the school year to come,” she wrote.

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Logan, who held a leadership position at the School District of Philadelphia before being hired by the OPS board in 2018, explained the Fairfax County job “presented a unique opportunity to serve another exceptional school district near my husband, adult daughter and almost all of my extended family.”

She said she did not make the decision to participate in the search lightly.

“As you can imagine, leading the last three years isolated from my family has taken a personal toll,” Logan wrote.

Logan’s tenure leading the largest public school district in Nebraska has largely overlapped with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has posed unique challenges to school districts across the country.

In her email, Logan alluded to the challenging nature of the past three school years.

“Omaha is a special school district, and we have more to accomplish together,” she wrote. “Through challenging times, we’ve made significant progress aligned to our Strategic Plan of Action. Those endeavors will not stop.”

Logan appeared to have left a strong impression among some in Fairfax County. The NAACP noted that panelists participating in the search “were impressed with her poise, confidence and detailed professional response to each question without notes.”

The group also noted Logan would have been the first Black superintendent and the second woman superintendent in Fairfax County Public Schools’ history. Logan is the first Black and second woman superintendent at OPS.