County schools look for outside help for Walton


ACPS teachers gather on their first day back after summer break. Photo: Andrew Quarles. ACPS teachers gather on their first day back after summer break. Photo: Andrew Quarles.

Through a recent request for proposals, Albemarle County Public Schools staff announced the division is looking to “rebrand” Walton Middle School. The request comes on the heels of numerous leadership and student conduct complaints, and the hiring of a new assistant principal, Rick Vrhovac, who came to Walton from Albemarle High School earlier this summer after parents’ concerns over discipline issues escalated.

The RFP cites a “wider perception that there are special problems at Walton that need to be resolved.”

Spokesman Phil Giaramita said the division is seeking the benefits of an outside perspective of the school’s climate, and told a reporter the effort was initiated by former Chief Operating Officer Josh Davis, who left the division in July.

“It’s an opportunity to examine what resources an agency could bring that we don’t have,” Giaramita said, adding that the division’s decision on whether to hire a consultant will depend on the proposals received and on cost.

Whitney Bullock. Photo: Albemarle County Schools.

MEET YOUR EDUCATOR: Whitney Bullock, Kindergarten Teacher, Stony Point Elementary School

Q: What has your classroom experience taught you that studying education could not have prepared you for?

A: My first year experience taught me the importance of fostering a learning community. Creating a warm physical and emotional environment made the students feel comfortable in their learning space. As a result, my students became passionate learners who felt comfortable taking academic risks.

Q: What teaching adjustments do you plan to make moving forward?

This upcoming school year, I will focus on classroom learning spaces that foster independence. I have invested in designated learning spaces (e.g. math corner, reading jungle, etc.). In doing so, the students can take ownership of their space and develop as independent learners.

Q: In your eyes, what is the biggest challenge facing education currently?

We need more emphasis on making multiculturalism a more mainstream concept. Providing strong communication and engagement will better support multicultural families.

Posted In:     News


Previous Post

Ken Cuccinelli tries to thread a very tight needle

Next Post

McGyvering the garden: Late summer tips and tricks for the veggie patch

Our comments system is designed to foster a lively debate of ideas, offer a forum for the exchange of ad hoc information, and solicit honest, respectful feedback about the work we do. We’re glad you’re participating. Here are a few simple rules to follow, which should be relatively straightforward.

1) Don’t call people names or accuse them of things you cannot support.
2) Don’t direct foul language, racial slurs, or offensive terms at other commenters or our staff.
3) Don’t use the discussion on our site for commercial (or shameless personal) promotion.

We reserve the right to remove posts and ban commenters who violate any of the rules listed above, or the spirit of the discussion. We’re trying to create a safe space for a wide range of people to express themselves, and we believe that goal can only be achieved through thoughtful, sensitive editorial control.

If you have questions or comments about our policies or about a specific post, please send an e-mail to

Leave a Reply

Notify of