The Prince William County School Board has announced the hiring of LaTanya McDade, currently the chief education officer for Chicago Public Schools, as the next superintendent of Prince William County Public Schools.
McDade, who will become the first African American and woman to lead the school division, will take leadership of the state’s second largest district when current Superintendent Steve Walts retires June 30. This year, the division had an enrollment of roughly 90,000 students.
McDade currently oversees all academic offices for Chicago Public Schools, a school division that serves more than 340,000 students across 638 schools. According to remarks from School Board Chair Babur Lateef, she is responsible for improving teaching and learning, and has a hand in curriculum development and educational policy.
“Under her leadership, Chicago Public Schools increased academic achievement; expanded academic programming such as [advanced placement], world and dual language, implemented the largest [international baccalaureate] networking the nation, increased graduation rates, increased college enrollment and persistence, and reached record-low dropout, suspension and expulsion rates,” Lateef said.
The daughter of immigrants from Belize, McDade earned a master’s degree in leadership and administration from Loyola University Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Chicago State University. She plans to complete a doctorate in educational leadership and supervision from Lewis University this spring.
Prince William County Schools said the hiring came after a “nationwide” search that received more than 45 applications from 16 states. The school board hired recruiting firm BWP and Associates to assist in the search.
According to her LinkedIn profile, McDade started teaching at the middle school level in 1998. She went on to serve as an assistant principal and principal at a Chicago magnet school before joining the CPS administrative ranks in 2012.
McDade will also need to bring on a new number two for the division. In January, Deputy Superintendent Keith Imon announced that he too would be retiring following the end of the current school year.
Currently, students whose families have selected to return them to classrooms are in their school buildings twice per week. But the school board has shown an interest in bringing students back full-time for in-person learning next fall.
At the last meeting, the board asked Walts to present a plan in May that would allow for students who opt in to be 100% in-person and those who opt out to remain virtual. Returning to in-person learning was a point of major contention between Walts and some of the school board, with Walts advocating for a slower return and voicing opposition to the plan that was ultimately decided on by a split board.