Virginia Beach schools chief to lead 21st-century educators

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Virginia Beach City Public Schools Superintendent Dr/ Aaron Spence, seen here in 2014, is the vice chairman of EdLeader21, a national network of educators. (Photo courtesy vbcpsblogs).

Virginia Beach City Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Aaron Spence, seen here in 2014, will serve as vice chairman of EdLeader21, a national network of educators who want to transform schools. (Photo courtesy vbcpsblogs).

Virginia Beach City Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Aaron Spence is taking on a volunteer leadership role in a national network of educators who are seeking to transform K-12 education.

Spence will serve as the national vice chairman of EdLeader21, a five-year old organization with members from more than 200 public school districts and 20 independent schools, VBCPS said in a release.

In an interview, Spence said the role gives him the opportunity to share some of the ways VBCPS is helping students learn global readiness skills for the 21st century.

We want students to be curious, inquisitive and engaged in learning, he said, and to help schools, particularly schools challenged with issues of equity, to move from being test factories to exciting learning environments.

“That’s what this organization focuses on,” he said, meaning EdLeader21.

Part of the challenge is to bring whimsy and joy into schools, he added, which doesn’t mean an absence of rigor; it’s about tapping into students’ passions and experiences.

“That’s what we’ve been talking a lot about,” Spence said. “That’s why I’m so interested in serving for the organization, providing some leadership.”

That’s a trait the school board chairman commended.

“We are pleased to have Dr. Spence leading Virginia Beach schools and are glad that his colleagues in EdLeader21 sought his leadership in dealing with the challenges facing educators in the 21st century,” Daniel Edwards, chair of the Virginia Beach School Board, said in a release.

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