The Fairfax County school board honored the nine-year career of former superintendent Jack Dale at a meeting on Thursday while also welcoming his successor, veteran Texan educator Karen Garza.
The meeting marked Garza’s first as chief of the 181,500 student school system and she, and Dale, received standing ovations as the board recognized the leadership transition. Garza is the first female superintendent in Fairfax County schools history.
“Karen, it’s all yours, girl,” Dale said at the meeting. “I know that the system is in great hands.”
The school board unanimously approved a resolution honoring Dale’s career. Teary-eyed board members Jane Strauss (Dranesville) and Kathy Smith (Sully) praised Dale’s cool demeanor as the division’s leader while the county endured the economic downturn and faced significant program cuts. The board members noted several of Dale’s achievements, including an expansion of full-day kindergarten to schools throughout the county and implementation of policies that encourage students to become global leaders.