Hall, new Accomack superintendent, focuses on safety: Metal detectors are being installed this summer at schools

Accomack Superintendent Rhonda Hall

BY CLARA VAUGHN, Eastern Shore Post —

Accomack County Public Schools’ assistant superintendent of instruction has been appointed by the school board as its new superintendent.

The announcement that Rhonda Hall will accept the position was made Wednesday morning by the Accomack School Board.

“I have been very proud of the work that I have done in Accomack County to promote our division and to help it to be one of the best divisions in the Commonwealth,” Hall said of her 34-year tenure in the school system.

She will start her new position after current Superintendent Chris Holland’s last day in the role June 30.

Hall said her top goal as superintendent will be promoting student safety.

“We want to make sure that every child is safe every day and that we provide every student with a safe learning environment,” she said, noting that the school system is installing metal detectors this summer to be operational by the start of the school year.

Another focus for her four-year contract as superintendent will be increasing parental involvement in students’ learning, she said.

In the wake of pandemic learning losses, addressing truancy is another priority for Hall.

“Our challenge that we have after COVID is getting kids back into the learning mindset that they have to be in school,” she said, adding the school system will reorganize its attendance committee to address absenteeism.

Hall was appointed superintendent Tuesday evening after serving as acting superintendent for the school system during the past several months while Holland was away from the job with an illness.

The superintendent’s position was not advertised, she said.

The school board “wanted to continue the momentum and have someone who knows the division,” Hall said of the appointment.

Hall’s salary was not announced by the school system. Accomack schools’ director of finance, Beth Onley, said Wednesday she did not yet have Hall’s starting salary as superintendent. Holland earned $165,403 annually.

An Eastern Shore of Virginia native, Hall’s career in Accomack County Public Schools began after college, when she served as a speech and language pathologist in Accomack schools for a year before moving overseas with her spouse.

On her return to Accomack County, she began a decades-long career in the schools, including as a second grade teacher, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent for human resources and administration, director of school improvement and federal programs, and her most recent role as assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.

Hall also served as interim superintendent from April to July 2014.

She received her Bachelor of Science degree in communication disorders from Hampton University, master’s degree in education from Salisbury University, and a Doctorate of Philosophy degree in organizational leadership from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

Hall is a graduate of the National Superintendents Academy and attended the Virginia Aspiring Superintendents Academy.

She is a graduate of Accomack County schools and lives in Greenbush.

Holland, the retiring superintendent, served in education for over 40 years and was named Accomack County Public Schools superintendent in 2015.

Holland’s tenure with Accomack schools began in 1985 as a teacher and a coach. He was the assistant principal at Parksley Middle School before serving as Chincoteague High School principal starting in 2000.

“Working with him has helped me to grow and has helped to prepare me for this position,” Hall said of Holland.

“The school board is confident that Dr. Hall will continue to provide leadership to enhance and build our school division. We are excited to work with her as we continue to provide the best education possible for every student in a positive and safe learning environment,” said School Board Chair Ronnie Holden in a statement Wednesday.

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