On Friday of last week, members of the Albemarle County Local Government Leadership Team and the Albemarle County Schools Superintendents’ Cabinet had the opportunity to meet and talk about our shared values and objectives and how we can work more closely together to build upon our community’s quality of life excellence.
At the top of our lists when we were discussing mutual strengths are the highly talented and dedicated employees who do such an outstanding job in serving the residents of our county on a daily basis. They truly are what makes our community a national role model.
At the core of our conversations with one another was the principle that in our relationships with each other, one plus one must equal three. Our missions, serving all residents at a high level, are similar; the synergies that result from increasing our teamwork are impressive.
For instance, we all have a stake in the economic development of our county. Supporting business growth and job creation helps to balance our tax base and can be a growth engine for our future. Together with sound fiscal practices, environmental beauty and efficient and reliable public services, schools are an important part of why businesses choose to locate or expand in an area.
Increasing the benefits from public-private partnership is another example of how collaboration between our two organizations can serve broad interests. Think, for example, of how a performing arts center or a center tied to skills training or a center that adds to our abilities to bring new services to our residents can transform our county.
One area of instant agreement between us was that there is value in having our two organizations connecting early in the innovative phase of any new program idea or initiative.
There was a unanimous sense our meeting last Friday was the start of something very special. We plan on making these conversations a regular part of our strategic and operational planning process.
This year’s school division budget was titled, Albemarle Forward: Equity & Opportunity. We might offer an updated revision: Albemarle Together: A Brighter Future for All.
Both are perfect descriptions of what we believe is eminently achievable.
Superintendent of Schools