Ziegler Tapped as New Loudoun Superintendent

Following a nationwide search, the Loudoun County School Board on Tuesday found the division’s next superintendent was already in the job.

After serving as interim superintendent since Jan. 1, Scott A. Ziegler was selected by a unanimous School Board vote.

He served as the assistant superintendent for Human Resources and Talent Development before being tapped as the interim superintendent in January, following the departure of Eric Williams who took a job leading a school district near Houston, TX.

In announcing the choice, School Board members praised his leadership in returning students to the classroom following months of debate over whether that could be accomplished during the pandemic, among other leadership qualities.

“Consider where we were on January 1, and where we are now, the difference is really clear,” Ian Serotkin (Blue Ridge) said.

During his first month on the job, Ziegler hatched a plan to return students to classrooms. After nearly a year of strife from parents, students were able to return to classroom learning four days a week. 

“We had facts, we had figures, we went back and forth, but we could not make a decision, until you stepped in. Not only stepping up to be interim superintendent, but making a profound decision that impacted the lives of our students,” Jeff Morse (Dulles) told Ziegler. 

Harris Mahedavi (Ashburn) echoed that sentiment. 

“I’ve seen him come into this role, save us, open up Loudoun County. I’m looking forward to his leadership,” Mahedavi said. 

John Beatty (Catoctin) pointed to an example of Ziegler’s problem-solving. In January, he recommended buying desk shields to reduce COVID transmission in classrooms.

“I appreciated that youwere trying something. Just that you tried something. It was a small thing, but that is just one of many things youbring to the position,” Beatty said.

While dealing with pandemic would typically be a career-defining challenge for most people, Ziegler’s biggest challenges may still be ahead of him. County parents remain at odds about cultural issues, including the School Board’s equity work.

“After almost six months on the job, Dr. Ziegler has shown us what it means to be a strong leader in communication, tough decision-making, and providing empathetic and respectful learning environment for all—the mission of LCPS,” Beth Barts (Leesburg) said.

“To our community, I thank you. I have heard your feedback loud and clear. I will continue to keep that communication going,” Ziegler said.

Ziegler said he had three goals when he took over in the interim role: to return students to in-person learning, to improve communications with the staff and parents, and to amplify student voices.

“We have been successful, if not perfect in all of those,” he said.

He expressed optimism to the community, saying that the coronavirus crisis is nearly over. He praised teachers and students for overcoming the challenges presented over the past year, while acknowledging that there is still much work to be done.

“Our students are hurting. They are experiencing racism and hatred in our buildings, and we need to take steps to mitigate that,” he said.

He also pointed to several of his initiatives to help students return to normalcy after the pandemic, including a student mental health task force, that was created last week.

Ziegler will be paid $295,000  in the first year of his four-year contract, which is the maximum amount of time Virginia state law permits for a superintendent to serve at one time. The new contract will begin July 1 and expire on June 30, 2025. He will be entitled to a salary increase, approved by the School Board, each subsequent year that he receives a “proficient” performance rating. He will also receive $12,000 year in vehicle expenses. He will be able to terminate the contract within four months of giving written notice to the board. 

Ziegler came to school division in 2019 to take the top HR position. He began his career teaching special education at Portsmouth Public Schools in 1992. He went on to become an assistant principal within the Portsmouth school division. 

He holds a doctorate of education from Northwest Nazarene University and is the 11th superintendent in the 104-year history of the school division history.

13 thoughts on “Ziegler Tapped as New Loudoun Superintendent

  • 2021-06-08 at 8:01 pm

    On the day that a Loudoun Court determined Ziegler infringed “vindictive[ly]” on the First Amendment rights of an employee and failed to uphold his oath to the United States Constitution, he is elevated to the LCPS Superintendent?!

    Are you kidding me? Ziegler should be on the hook for intentionally trying to intimidate his constituents and employees. He presented the draconian Professional Conduct plan in September 2020 that threatened such harsh penalties against teachers. The community spoke out against it including pointing out case law that proved it was constitutional. While that policy draft’s words have been watered down, it is clear that Ziegler is the draconian authoritarian the original policy forecasted. He should be facing civil penalties on his own dime since the suspension and ban of Tanner Cross were clearly unconstitutional.

    It is clear nobody remotely competent would consider taking the lead in this disaster of a school district. He will have to learn what being sued over and over and over again is like.

  • 2021-06-08 at 9:56 pm

    The only logical explanation is that all the other candidates saw the national public embarrassment that is LCPS and they withdrew, leaving Ziegler the last man standing.

  • 2021-06-08 at 10:18 pm

    If there was any doubt the school board harbors hateful contempt for the students, teachers, and parents of Loudoun, this should alleviate it completely.

  • 2021-06-08 at 10:25 pm

    This is not a surprise at all. What a complete waste of time and money using a firm to find and vet candidates when it was very apparent all along that Ziegler was getting this job. I’m counting the hours until I can say I have no children left in LCPS, I feel like we’re escaping in the nick of time.

  • 2021-06-09 at 6:02 am

    More proof the school board is out of touch with the citizens is is supposed to serve. Schools were closed when others were open, books are allowed in our libraries but cannot have the bible and we suspend a teacher for no reason. LCPS is no longer the great school system it once was and this clown will continue to allow it decline. Now more than ever we need school vouchers so we can support good schools and not the bad ones.

  • 2021-06-09 at 8:16 am

    The clown show just ramped up the tempo and none of this nonsense will be resolved any time soon.

    I am going out on a limb here and state that the entire LCPS board just extended a “Briskman” to the children, parents and taxpayers of Loudoun County! The “search” was simply and obviously a costly charade funded by the good residents of the county.

    We need to recall the board. People need to take their children out of the disaster that is Loudoun County public schools. Remember this at election time.

  • 2021-06-09 at 9:47 am

    Considering this is the richest country in the entire USA, one would think there would be heavy competition among highly qualified candidates nationwide for the school superintendent’s job. However, that doesn’t appear to have been the case, and one can only blame the School Board and the LCPS administration for this debacle. Candidates were scared off by the School Board’s subterfuge regarding their equity and inclusiveness policies and subsequent condoning of attacks on parents and teachers who disagreed with them.

    Who in their right mind would want to come here and have to deal with the ongoing fallout of their dishonest actions? Now the students and parents are stuck with a superintendent who led the charge on those divisive policies. I didn’t think Loudoun would find a superintendent who was more anti-parent than Eric Williams was…but it appears I was wrong. Let’s hope this petition to recall part of the SB gains traction, because it’s clear these people don’t care about ALL of their students.

    When you have clowns in charge, expect a circus. Welcome to the Loudoun Big Top Carnival!

  • 2021-06-09 at 10:17 pm

    Pathetic. Ziegler joins the Loudoun Clown Show. A show that is national news for ALL THE WRONG REASONS. What a disgrace.

    The School Board gets another F. They have been getting a lot of F’s lately because they do NOT have the best interest of Loudoun youth as a focus.

    Mr Ziegler is a terrible choice. A lot of money was waisted on the sham process to find a superintendent for the useless Mr Williams.

    This school board has nothing but distain for Loudoun parents. Not one person has apologized for their crazy decision making and racist policies.

    The quote below has a lot of us laughing. Nothing in the quote is accurate.
    “After almost six months on the job, Dr. Ziegler has shown us what it means to be a strong leader in communication, tough decision-making, and providing empathetic and respectful learning environment for all—the mission of LCPS,” Beth Barts (Leesburg) said.

    School board members should resign immediately. Your behavior is disgusting to normal, sane people.

  • 2021-06-10 at 10:20 am

    Where are all the Loudoun parents and taxpayers cheering this hire?

    It’s a virtual certainty that LCPS’ outside legal support appreciates all the business that is sure to come their way.

  • 2021-06-10 at 2:10 pm

    I hope this guy can walk on water because that is the kind of magic this community will need to pull LCPS out of the drain.

  • 2021-06-11 at 11:12 am

    “Our students are hurting. They are experiencing racism and hatred in our buildings, and we need to take steps to mitigate that,” he said.

    What about the other 99.9% of great kids in LCPS and the parents that have raised them. The new superintendent’s quote on the very day he is promoted doesn’t do justice to so many good familes that make up our school system. How about on day one our new superintendent can also be quoted as saying ‘We have so many great students and families that comprise our LCPS family. As in any family there are things that need to be worked on and improved and I am proud that I have been chosen to lead this effort. Our high schools are ranked in the top 6% nationally in the 2021 U.S. News & World Report and I will work my hardest to continue to improve the standards that have made us such a wonderful school system through the years.

  • 2021-06-11 at 12:29 pm

    He cannot walk on water. He is part of the problem. LCPS could not attract quality candidates. Mr Z agreed to continue current policies with NO reforms.

    Loudoun students continue to take the brunt of this racist, radical agenda.

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