‘The right time to move on’ — Brabrand on his decision to leave Fairfax Co. schools

The 2021-2022 school year will be the last one Superintendent Scott Brabrand spends with Fairfax County Public Schools.

He made his decision public in a Thursday message to the community, adding that he will serve through June 30, 2022.

“It feels to me the right time to move on after this year of getting everybody back in-person and having an almost normal school year,” said Brabrand, in an interview with WTOP.

With a year left on his contract, he characterized his relationship with the Fairfax County School Board as “positive.”

“We’ve worked hard to continue to partner with our parents and families. We know the stresses of this pandemic have been tremendous for everyone, and we’ve really worked hard to give grace, not grief, to all of our stakeholders,” said Brabrand.

He said the coronavirus pandemic has been an “extraordinarily difficult time for students and families … But I really think we have come together — there have been some differences along the way, but it was all about trying to do what was best for kids — and I’m really, really excited about this coming year.”

Brabrand said his top priority for the upcoming school year is ensuring all students return to schools safely and having the school system follow the latest CDC guidelines.

“And then really to begin working very diligently to address their academic and social-emotional needs, and we know coming out of this pandemic those needs are going to be more complex and more intense than maybe they have been before.”

He said FCPS is ready to “embrace our kids and help them really rediscover the joy of learning and the joy of reconnecting in person. We’ve all been virtually connected, but we’ve all not been connected in person and all of our kids are going to get that opportunity to do that this fall and that’s very exciting.”

Brabrand, who has been superintendent since 2017, said he started work in the school system as an intern nearly 30 years ago.

Brabrand taught social studies starting in 1994, and has also been an assistant principal at Herndon High School, an associate principal at Lake Braddock Secondary School; principal of Fairfax High School and superintendent of the Lynchburg City Schools.

When asked about his future plans, he said: “Hey, I got 12 months to figure that out — and when I do, I’ll make sure WTOP is first to carry the story.”

WTOP’s Rick Massimo contributed to this report.


Matt Small

Matt joined WTOP News at the start of 2020, after contributing to Washington’s top news outlet as an Associated Press journalist for nearly 18 years.

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