Charlottesville City School Board

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The Charlottesville City School Board is the body that makes decisions related to Charlottesville City Schools. For the 2023 fiscal year, the school system serves approximately 4,500 students in grades K-12, employs nearly 1,000 people, operates 13 facilities, and has a budget of $106.9 million dollars.[1]

Thursday, August 20, 2009 School Board Meeting - Chairman Michie called the meeting to order at 6:15 p.m., noting this was the first paperless meeting using Electronic School Board.[2]

Board Members

Current Members (2020-21)

  1. Lisa Larson-Torres (2018-21) -- Chair [3]
  2. James Bryant (2020-23) -- Vice-chair
  3. Sherry Kraft (2020-23)
  4. Jennifer McKeever (2020-23)
  5. Leah Puryear (2018-21)
  6. Lashundra Bryson Morsberger (2020-23)
  7. Juandiego R. Wade[4][5] (2018-21)

Previous Members

Charlottesville was founded in 1762, incorporated as a town in 1801 and as an independent city in 1888.

The Virginia Constitution of 1869, passed during Reconstruction, established a statewide system of free public schools. Public education was decentralized and unsystematic. There were no compulsory attendance laws, no standards for teachers, no required curriculum, and no uniform length of terms. Textbooks usually consisted of either The McGuffey Reader or The Holmes Reader, both of which were filled with parables that imparted lessons about thrift, hard work, self-discipline, and the superiority of rural life.

On July 1, 1892 the city public school system became independent of any municipal or county control. A twelve-member school board, two member elected from each of the four Wards, elected Howe P. Cochran to serve as the first superintendent of Charlottesville School System. Cochran died, after less than three months in office, on September 28, 1892 and was succeeded by Frank A. Massie, who continued in office until July 1, 1901. In 1948, the eight-man council resigned, thereby allowing a seven-member council as required by state law. Three year terms started on July 1st and ended June 30th; council usually held school board elections the last week in June and sometimes in July. From 1948 to 1956, four members of the school board were selected from each of the four wards, three were selected from the city at-large. In the 1980, city council would sometimes choose school board members, from a list of applicants, based on a particular Ward; but usually members were elected on an at-large basis. In 2006, the city switched from a city council elected school board serving three-years, to an at-large (city-wide) elected school board serving four-years. The city charter was changed in 2020 to reflect same.

The city school board is officially nonpartisan; however, all are affiliated with the Democratic Party. All Virginia school board elections are nonpartisan by law, School Board candidates in Virginia must qualify for the ballot as “independents” (by voter petition signatures), so primary elections are never held for school board.

Charlottesville City School Board Members (Elected by City Council) Superintendent
Year Chairperson First Ward Second Ward Third Year Fourth Ward At Large At Large At Large
Seat 1 Seat 2 Seat 3 Seat 4 Seat 5 Seat 6 Seat 7
1948 Ida D. Byrd Randolph H. Perry J. Fred Harlan Harry W. Walsh A. G. A. Balz Junius R. Fishburne W. T. Dettor Hugh L. Sulfridge
1949 Dr. C. J. Frankel
1950 Dr. Sol B. Weinberg R. Stanley Goodman, Jr. Harry Wright
1951 James Harry Michael, Jr.
1952 Dr. F. G. Lankford, Jr. John G. Wall
1953 P. A. Wallenborn Fendall R. Ellis
1954 Margaret Maupin
1955 Dr. John. G. Wall Roscoe S. Adams, Sr.
1956 R. Stanley Goodman, Jr. Earl V. Thacker, Jr.
1958 Chester R. Babcock Richard A. Mead
1959 Roscoe S. Adams
1960 John L. Hammond
1961 T. L. Mullinnix Edith H. Rudy
1962 Dr. W. Copley McLean
1963 Richard Meade M. B. Fogleman John F. Harlan, Jr. George C. Tramontin
1964 Chester R. Babcock Grover W. Forloines Charles A. Via, Jr.
1965 Edith Rudy Raymond Lee Bell Thomas J. Michie, Jr.
1966 W. Copley McLean Robert M. Humphris Hovey Dabney J. A. Kessler, Jr.
1967 Edward R. Rushton
1968 Henry B. Mitchell
1969 T. Elsom Johnson, Jr. Bernard A. Morin Larence A. Brunton
1970 Alvin Clements
1971 Laurence Brunton Harry A. Tenney Grace Tinsley
1972 Henry B. Mitchell Charles Webb Elizabeth A. Bowers Richard L. Jennings
1973 J. A. Kessler, Jr. William J. Ellena
1974 Dale Metcalf
1975 Paul Phipps
1976 Richard L. Jennings Alicia B. Lugo Gary Hardley
1977 Raymond A. Hailes
1978 Wallace Reed Caroline Holloway
1979 Mark Krebs Gaines Anderegg
1980 David Sheffield
1981 Alicia B. Lugo Joseph Mooney Dora Brooks Virginia Schatz Lawrence Burruss Thomas J. McLernon
1982 Vincent C. Cibbarelli
1983 John J. Pezzoli
1984 Clifford Bennett
1985 Emily Couric
1986 Joseph Mooney Rauzelle Smith
1987 John Pezzoli Linda Seaman James Hingeley
1990 Emily Couric Frances Johnson Joseph R. McGeehan
1991 Rauzelle J. Smith William H. Atwood Al Elias
1992 Robert Bloodgood
1993 Linda Seaman Mary-Susan Payne Frances Johnson Tamyra Turner
1994 Olivia Boykin
1995 Al Elias Linda Bowen
1996 Mary-Susan Payne Stephen Campbell Glenn Stratton Cole Hendrix Elva Holland Dorothea Shannon
1997 Richard Merriwether
1999 John Santoski
2000 Stephen Campbell Muriel Wiggins Dede Smith
2001 Richard Merriwether Julie Gronlund
2002 Linda Bowen Bill Igbani Peggy Van Yahres Michael Heard Ronald Hutchinson
2003 Dede Smith Byron Brown
2004 Ned Michie Scottie Griffin
2005 Julie Gronlund Louis Bograd Juandiego Wade Alvin Edwards Leah Puryear Robert Thompson
2006 Alvin Edwards Rosa Atkins
Charlottesville City School Board Members - Elected At-large {holdover} Superintendent
Session Election Year Chairperson Seat A Seat B Seat C Seat D Seat E Seat F Seat G
(Jul. 1, 2006-Dec. 31, 2007) 2006 2006 Alvin Edwards Ned Michie Leah Puryear Juandiego Wade {Peggy Van Yahres} {Charlie Kollmansperger} {Julie Gronlund} {Alvin Edwards} Rosa Atkins
(2008-2009) 2007 2008 Ned Michie Kathy Galvin Colette Blount Llezelle Dugger Alvin Edwards
(2010-2011) 2009 2010 Leah Puryear Guian McKee
(2012-2013) 2011 2012 Ned Michie Amy Laufer Willa Neale Jennifer McKeever
2013 Juandiego Wade
(2014-2015) 2013 2014
2015 Amy Laufer
(2016-2017) 2015 2016 Sherry Kraft Adam Hastings
(2018-2019) 2017 2018 Juandiego Wade Lisa Larson-Torres James Bryant ฿
2018 2019 Jennifer McKeever Ned Michie ß James Bryant
(2020-2021) 2019 2020 Lashundra Bryson Morsberger James Bryant
2021 Lisa Larson-Torres
(2022-2023) 2021 2022 Dom Morse Emily Dooley
2023 James Bryant
(2024-2025) 2023 2024
(2026-2027) 2025 2026


Alvin Edwards resigned on October 31, 2010
Guian McKee appointed to fill vacant seat
Amy Laufer resigned January 2019 - moved to county.
ß Ned Michie appointed to fill seat vacated by Amy Laufer
Adam Hastings stepped down on March 3, 2018 - moved to county.[6]
฿ James Bryant appointed to fill vacant seat previously held by Adam Hastings who resigned.
On November 6, 2018, James Bryant won a special election for the Charlottesville School Board to replace the vacancy left when Adam Hastings stepped down on March 3, 2018.[6]

2013-2014 term

  1. Juandiego Wade, Board Chair
  2. Amy Laufer, Vice Chair
  3. Colette E. Blount
  4. Jennifer McKeever
  5. Ned Michie
  6. Willa Neale
  7. Leah Puryear[7]

2019 vacancy

Amy Laufer resigned in early January 2019. The Board will make an appointment at its meeting on February 21, 2019.

Former member and chair Ned Michie sought a return to the board on an interim basis to replace Laufer, as did former City Councilor Kristin Szakos. The School Board made an appointment on February 21. [8]


Charlottesville elects its School Board in a non-partisan election held at the same time as the general election for City Council. School Board members are elected at-large for four-year terms, with elections staggered each two years.

2021 election

After the 2019 election, the next election for School Board will be on November 2, 2021. The candidate filing deadline for this election will be on June 8, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.

2018 special election

There was a special election to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Adam Hastings on March 3, 2018. [9] Applications to serve as an interim member until the November 6 election were taken through March 23.

Candidates for interim appointment in 2019

Before Elected School Boards (1960-2006)

  • Prior to 1995, Virginia school board members were appointed. The 1994 General Assembly passed an act(Approved April 10, 1994) allowing localities to decide between elected and appointed boards. The statute reads:
"If a majority of the qualified voters voting in such referendum vote in favor of changing the method of selecting school board members to direct election by the voters, then the members of the school board shall be elected by popular vote. Elections of school board members in a county, city, or town shall be held to coincide with the elections for members of the governing body of the county, city, or town at the regular general election in November in the case of a county or the regular general election in May in the case of a city or town. In no event shall any election of school board members take place prior to 1994." § 22.1-57.3. Election of school board members. (1994)
  • The Charlottesville Board of Elections held the 2006 election in which Charlottesville City School Board members were elected by popular vote for the first time. Prior to that, school board members were appointed by City Council in accordance with the 1976 City Code:
Sec. 2-341. - Composition; appointment and terms of members.
The school board of the city shall be composed of seven (7) members, to be appointed by the city council, and there shall be at least one (1) member from each ward of the city. All vacancies occurring by expiration of the term of office, as provided in the Charter, shall be filled at the second regular meeting of the city council in June of each year for a term of three (3) years, beginning on July 1. Vacancies occurring otherwise than by expiration of the term of office shall be filled for the unexpired term. No member shall be eligible to serve more than three (3) successive full three-year terms. If, for any reason, the city council should not fill the vacancies on or before July 1, as above provided, appointments, when made, shall be for the unexpired term. (Code 1976, § 2-109)

In 2020, the General Assembly approved changes to the City Charter to relect the 2006 election changes as such:

§ 45. (1946, c. 384; repealed, 2020, cc. 813, 814)
§ 45-a. School board.
The City of Charlottesville shall constitute a single school district. The school board of the city shall consist of seven members. In accordance with the general laws of the Commonwealth, three of the school board members shall be elected in November 2021 and four members shall be elected in November 2023 to fill vacancies occurring on the first of January in the years following the year in which they are elected. School board members shall serve terms of four years. The members of the school board on the effective date of this Charter are hereby confirmed in office until the thirty-first day of December in the final year of the term of office for which they were elected. The board shall have all powers and perform all duties granted to and imposed upon school boards of cities by the general laws of the Commonwealth. (1948, c. 124; 2020, cc. 813, 814)


  1. Web. Budget and Finance Department Overview, Charlottesville City Schools, retrieved Feb. 23, 2023.
  2. Web. [ MINUTES, BUSINESS MEETING OF THE SCHOOL BOARD CHARLOTTESVILLE CITY SCHOOLS], City of Charlottesville School Board, Thursday, August 20, 2009 (6:00 PM), retrieved Feb. 23, 2023.
  3. Web. Charlottesville School Board delays in-person return again citing COVID surge, Max Marcila, News Article, WVIR NBC29, Charlottesville, VA, January 7, 2021, retrieved January 8, 2021.
  4. Web. Charlottesville School Board adds two newcomers, Brian Wheeler, Charlottesville Tomorrow, November 3, 2015, retrieved July 20, 2016.
  5. Web. Charlottesville School Board Members, Charlottesville City Schools, retrieved January 8, 2021.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Web. Charlottesville School Board calls for gun legislation, briefed on student walkout plans, Josh Mandell, Charlottesville Tomorrow, March 1, 2018, retrieved March 2, 2018.
  7. Web. School Board Recap, sort of, Jennifer McKeever, Jennifer McKeever, January 10, 2013, retrieved January 11, 2013.
  8. Web. Michie, Szakos among interim School Board hopefuls, Katherine Knott, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, February 8, 2019, retrieved February 24, 2020.
  9. Web. City School Board initiates process to fill vacancy, Josh Mandell, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, March 12, 2018, retrieved March 19, 2018.

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