Manassas School Board Chair Sanford Williams announced Tuesday night that he’d be leaving the board on Oct. 1, having decided to move with his wife to California to be closer to his daughters.
Williams is the second significant departure from the board in a year, following Scott Albrecht, who stepped down last year after 20 years. Later this year, if Board Member Tim Demeria wins his race for Manassas Commissioner of Revenue, he’ll leave the board without its three longest-serving members as of 2020.
The board will decide who will replace Williams as chair at its next meeting. Suzanne Seaberg, the vice chair, has served on the board since 2018.
“We love Manassas. My girls, our daughters, are in California,” Williams said of his decision. “Family is everything.”
At the board’s biweekly meeting Tuesday, members and division staff thanked Williams, who’s served on the board since 2010, for his leadership and calming demeanor. They also thanked his wife, local pediatrician Dr. Anastasia Williams for her work in the community.
Manassas schools Superintendent Kevin Newman recalled a long conversation the two had after Williams told him he’d been selected as the school division’s next superintendent in 2018.
“From that moment I knew I was dealing with someone that is of high quality that cares about kids. I wish I had some of your qualities in how calm you are regardless of the situation,” Newman told Williams at the board meeting. “The way you’ve mentored me the last three years, I can never thank you enough. … I know I want you in Manassas, but you need to be in California.”