Spotsylvania school board extends offer to unconventional superintendent candidate

Spotsylvania County Public Schools’ next superintendent could be a man with no experience in education. The Virginia-county’s school board formally offered Mark Taylor the job on Friday.

The county’s school board voted 4-3 to extend a finalized offer to Taylor after a lengthy closed session. Taylor will receive a $245,000 salary with a guarantee for three years and eight months and full retirement benefits.

That high number rubbed some members of the school board the wrong way.

“Now there is an offer for $245,000 for someone who meets not even half of the job qualifications,” said board member Nicole Cole.

Taylor’s nomination has drawn scrutiny throughout the selection process.

His close ties to School Board Chair Kirk Twigg raised eyebrows during Virginia’s Board of Education meeting Thursday. The board had to approve Taylor’s nomination since he had no prior experience in education.

Public speakers at the meeting pointed out that Taylor and his wife sit on the board of Twigg’s nonprofit, and the couple has written letters-to-the-editor in support of Twigg’s school board campaigns.

Commenters and board members alike brought up Taylor’s past social media posts that they said had racial and anti-public-schools overtones.

One post cited by board member Anne Holton said that “What country in the 80s would allow a fat blacks woman to have a daytime talk show and become one of the richest people on the planet?”

Another one of Taylor’s posts mentioned by Holton suggested that American parents should take their kids out of public schools.

The state’s Board of Education deemed Taylor eligible to receive a superintendent’s license by a 6-2 vote Thursday.

WTOP’s Neal Augenstein and NBC Washington contributed to this report.

Matthew Delaney

Matt Delaney is a digital web writer/editor who joined WTOP in 2020.

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