Albemarle County Public Schools Deputy Superintendent Debora Collins has announced that she will retire on June 30 after four decades working in the school system.
Since joining Henley Middle School as a math teacher in 1983, Collins has served several roles in the division. As the executive director of pre-K through 12th-grade education in 2016, Collins was honored as the commonwealth’s Curriculum Leader of the Year by the Virginia Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. She was later named assistant superintendent for student learning in 2017. Then, in 2018, she was named to her current position as deputy superintendent.
Collins also led initiatives within the school system, such as the instructional coaching model, which allows teachers to work with instructional coaches to improve their teaching methods. Kristen Williams, principal of Woodbrook Elementary School and a former instructional coach, said that Collins’ personal qualities came through during the training.
“I learned first-hand not only of [Collins’] focused and compassionate approach to educational leadership, but also in the power of her mentorship skills,” Williams said in an Albemarle County Public Schools statement. “She pushes you even if it makes you feel uncomfortable and always with the utmost of respect.”
Collins announced her retirement in a letter to the school board and Superintendent Matthew Haas.
“My time with ACPS has filled me with a sense of purpose and belonging that none other could offer,” Collins wrote. “It’s been such a joy to work in an environment that has high expectations and calls educators to work together to reach all students.”
Haas said that Collins’ contributions will have an impact on the schools long after her retirement.
“The broad range of headline contributions that Debbie [Collins] has made to our school community has had a profound effect on student learning,” Haas said in a statement. “As is the case with any act of great consequence, the improvements she made possible will continue to pay dividends far into the future. Having worked with Debbie for the past 19 years, I have learned so much. I will miss seeing her every day.”