Stafford County Public Schools’ Superintendent Bruce Benson has accepted a new position and will head to North Carolina’s Alamance County this summer.
According to a report on Monday in the Burlington (North Carolina) Times News, Benson accepted a job from the Alamance-Burlington schools system and will start his new position in July.
On Tuesday at a Stafford County School Board meeting, Benson publicly announced his resignation and acknowledged having mixed emotions.
“Anybody that thinks that this is not hard for me, you are wrong. I feel very connected to this board, to this community, to teachers and students across the schools,” he said. “It’s one of the things I’ve loved.”
Benson said he is thankful for having the opportunity to serve the Stafford community for the past four years and appreciates the support of the board, staff and community.
Benson is replacing a retiring superintendent in North Carolina, where he’ll lead a slightly smaller schools system than SCPS’s nearly 29,000-student population.
He said he’s looking forward to new challenges, but the continued success of Stafford’s schools remains important to him, with “significant work to be done in the coming months” and a goal of tying up any loose ends.
With 35 years’ experience in public schools education, Benson will receive $200,000 per year at his new position, according to the Burlington Times News.
Benson joined SCPS in April 2014, after leaving a superintendent’s job at Accomack County Public Schools. He served there for three years.
Prior to that, he held positions in Albemarle County and Franklin City Public Schools.
Benson will make the move with his wife Barbara, who works as a nurse. The couple also has three daughters, a son and five grandchildren.
Scott Hirons, a former school board member in the Falmouth District, spoke about Benson Tuesday and wished him well. He said he received numerous texts and messages from people in the community Monday evening when they heard Benson was leaving.
Hirons said they were sad to hear the news and they understand how much Benson contributed to Stafford. He explained that as a new school board member, things were difficult at times and Benson, a calm force, was the reason he stayed on the board.
“He really did make the improvements he said he was going to make and had an action plan,” Hirons said.
Benson told the school board and staff: “I’m confident that what we have valued during the last four years and the improvements we’ve made – that that work will continue. I will do anything I can do to help you guys in that transition.”
Also at the meeting, the school board:
* heard from Stafford County Public Schools’ drum majors, who reported that the 2017 Band Together to Fight Hunger raised funds for 35,069 meals for the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank.
* spoke about extending the school day June 13 (an early-release day) for 18 minutes in the elementary schools. Benson said that just 18 minutes needs to be made up in instructional time due to inclement weather; however, in the middle and high schools, no time is required to make up.
* approved a construction contract for a wastewater treatment facility replacement project at Hartwood Elementary School.
* unanimously approved the purchase of 500 Chromebooks for 500 teachers attending a 2018 teaching and learning summit.
* granted approval to extend by 30 days the feasibility period for the proposed purchase of the Fredericksburg Christian School property.
* discussed renovation and improvement parity in the schools with respect to major projects in the fiscal 2019-28 Capital Improvement Plan. Some board members were particularly concerned with long overdue attention needed to building improvements at Ferry Farm Elementary School.