Charlottesville Schools name Leatherwood as interim principal

On the second of three days when classes were canceled due to recent violence, a veteran of the halls of Charlottesville High School has been named as interim principal.

“I am thankful for Kenny Leatherwood stepping in to support our school, our staff, and our Black Knights,” said Superintendent Royal Gurley in a statement that went out this morning.

The release states that Leatherwood had a 31-year career in city schools beginning as a teacher and basketball coach at CHS in 1981. He would climb the ranks to serve as principal for six years.

“Even after retiring in 2012, he has continued to serve as interim principal in a number of our schools,” Gurley wrote.

However, a Daily Progress article from September 2010 stated that Leatherwood’s time with CHS began in 1977. That article was for when he took over as interim principal at what used to be known as Venable Elementary School just weeks into the school year.

Leatherwood will begin work after the Thanksgiving Break and will serve in an interim capacity. The job is posted online but it appears the administration is seeking stability.

“Unless there is a mid-year availability of an excellent candidate, the likeliest scenario is for Mr. Leatherwood to remain at the helm of the school until a new principal begins work in July,” the statement continued.

Classes were canceled at Charlottesville High School on Friday after a large number of teachers and staff called in with many expressing concern privately about their safety. On Friday, the administration acknowledged there had been at least two fights on Thursday. Principal Rashaad Pitt had resigned the week before. Classes were originally to have resumed today but the School Board opted to keep students away after an emergency closed session Saturday.

Classed are closed today and tomorrow for teacher work days.

Tonight, the group Charlottesville United for Public Education is holding a listening session at CHS in the Martin Luther King Jr. Performing Arts Center at 6 p.m.

“In recent days that void has been a forum for parents, teachers, and students to share their concerns and hopes for CHS in the midst of turmoil,” reads the announcement on their website. “Charlottesville United for Public Education is working with others to take steps to fill the void, by offering a safe space for community voices to be heard.”

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers of Charlottesville Community Engagement as well as Patreon supporters. This edition was written first for this website first and another version might appear in a future edition of the newsletter and podcast.

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