ACPS deputy superintendent announces will retire in June
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A long-time member of the Albemarle County Public Schools family is retiring.
ACPS announced on Thursday that Deputy Superintendent Debora Collins will retire on June 30.
According to a release, she has been with the school division for 40 years, primarily in executive leadership positions.
During that time, she has helped ACPS develop its instructional coaching model, which has been used to inspire similar programs at other schools.
During the recession that started in 2008, this program saw the division avoid major cuts to teaching staff and classroom programming by cutting back administrative budgets and spending less on other things like professional development programs.
Under the coaching model, classroom teachers would work with instruction coaches on strategies and best practices to help promote student academic achievement.
A 2011 article compared this coaching approach to high-performance athletes and medical professionals who use coaching to help skilled practitioners achieve their highest level.
“I learned first-hand not only of Debbie’s focused and compassionate approach to educational leadership, but also in the power of her mentorship skills. She pushes you to be your best, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable and always with the utmost of respect,” said Kristen Williams, the principal of Woodbrook Elementary and a former lead coach.
Collins has seen the school division go through a lot of changes. For example, Virginia instituted annual standards of learning measures in the 1990s.
The release adds that she pushed ACPS to be among the early adopters of the Being a Reader comprehensive K-5 reading program integrating the science of reading through foundational skills instructors, reading comprehension practice, and literacy experiences along with K-5 social skills instruction and activities.
During Collins’ tenure, ACPS has seen its on-time graduation rate remain among the highest in the state, with nearly two out of three graduates earning the state's highest academic diploma, the Advanced Studies Diploma.
Collins started her public education career as a math teacher in Tazewell and then Orange counties. She came to ACPS in 1983, teaching math at Henley Middle School.
The release says she also served as the principal of Greenbrier Elementary School for Charlottesville City Schools and later as the principal of Red Hill Elementary and Yancey Elementary schools in the county.