New Arlington Public Schools superintendent comes from Fairfax County Public Schools

Arlington’s school board named a new superintendent of schools for the Northern Virginia school system.

After a five-month-long nationwide search, the Arlington School Board unanimously approved Francisco Durán to be the new superintendent during Thursday night’s meeting.

Durán currently serves as the chief academic and equity officer for neighboring Fairfax County Public Schools. He takes over at Arlington Public Schools on June 1.

His contract is for four years and includes a base annual salary of $250,000.

“Dr. Durán is exactly the seasoned Superintendent we need right now to lead our school division through the pandemic crisis and advance our work to support educational and personal success for all of our students,” said Arlington School Board Chair Tannia Talento in a release.

Durán, a bilingual educator of 26 years, graduated from the University of New Mexico and began his career with Albuquerque Public Schools.

He later received a master’s degree in educational administration from San Francisco State University, and a master’s degree and doctorate in organization and leadership from Columbia University.

Francisco Durán
Francisco Durán will be the superintendent of Arlington County Public Schools. (Courtesy Arlington County Public Schools)

During his career as a teacher and administrator, he worked with the San Francisco Unified School District and Philadelphia City Schools. He also served two terms as the superintendent of the Trenton Public Schools in New Jersey

Durán moved to the Fairfax County school system in 2015. As the Chief Academic and Equity Officer, he helped develop “One Fairfax,” which is described as a social and racial equity policy aimed at closing opportunity, access and achievement gaps.

Durán replaces interim Superintendent Cintia Johnson who will return to her role as Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services.

“On behalf of the School Board, I would like to thank Interim Superintendent Johnson for leading us forward in this time of crisis and for her unwavering commitment to serve our staff, students and community,” said Talento.

Johnson took over Sept. 1, 2019 after then-Superintendent Patrick K. Murphy retired. She did not apply for the permanent position. Thirty-nine people, including Durán, applied for the post.

Murphy, who spent more than 30 years in public education in Virginia, went on to become the superintendent of Berkeley County Schools on West Virginia’s panhandle.

Durán will begin his tenure by meeting remotely with employees, students, families and community members. A series of online town hall meetings will be held so the public can ask him questions. Dates for those meetings have not yet been announced.

To submit questions for Durán’s June town hall meetings, email

Luke Lukert

Since joining WTOP Luke Lukert has held just about every job in the newsroom from producer to web writer and now he works as a full-time reporter. He is an avid fan of UGA football. Go Dawgs!

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