EXCLUSIVE: Top Administrator Leaving APS

by ARLnow.com January 7, 2013 at 6:15 pm 1,355 33 Comments

Clarence Stukes (screen grab via APS)Clarence Stukes, the Assistant Superintendent for Facilities and Operations at Arlington Public Schools, is retiring at the end of January, an APS spokesman confirmed Monday evening.

Stukes has announced his retirement and his last day at the school system will be at some point later this month, APS spokesman Frank Bellavia told ARLnow.com. Bellavia said he did not know whether Stukes was taking a job with another school system.

As the top administrator in the Department of Facilities and Operations, Stukes is responsible for overseeing facilities planning, capital improvement programs, aquatics, building and grounds maintenance, custodial services, energy management, and transportation. In August, Stukes was caught up in a wave of parent anger over changes to enforcement of the school system’s busing policy.

Stukes defended the busing policy, but also pointed out that this was the first time in his tenure that the school system did not add buses to make up for growth in enrollment.

Stukes joins a long list of principals and senior administrators who have left Arlington Public Schools since 2010. While the departures have concerned some school watchers, APS officials attribute the phenomenon to the fact that a “senior corps” of school staffers have been approaching retirement.

“It is something we have been watching for a number of years now,” APS spokeswoman Linda Erdos said in September.

After he leaves, Stukes will likely be replaced with an interim Assistant Superintendent for Facilities and Operations while APS advertises to full the position on a permanent basis, Bellavia said.

  • internet tourettes

    Is this the guy who hired the consultants for the bus route planning?

    • Sorta

      It was really all the Master Puppeteer’s work. Murphy controls all (quite poorly, I might add). Should be interesting to see who will be the point person on redistricting now. Last time I was with Stukes it seemed like many questions being asked by the crowd were revelatory to him– and had not crossed the minds of the brilliant APS administrators.

  • gymmray

    Another one bites the dust! Murphy has cleaned house. Only one “pre-Murphy” administrator remains- Dr. Betty Hobbs.

    • Louise

      Nobody wants to work for Murphy! NOBODY!!!

    • BluemontFred

      You forgot Linda Erdos. She is a Rob Smith hire.

  • MassExodus

    APS is going to go broke paying for high-priced consultants to fill in while they try to find people willing to work for Doc Murphy

  • Southarlington

    The School Board is to blind to notice this that is for sure and the teachers do not like him either ….why does no one listen to the teachers ?…and why does the School Board not listen to the teachers or tax payers ?

    • Well…..

      They never get challenged. Thanks to the farcical Caucus system, only about 60-65% of Arlington residents are eligible to choose School Board candidates, and they never have real opposition in the General Election. Single party systems create apathetic know-it-all leaders who are confident that they don’t need to pay attention to the citizens.

      • southarlington

        Thay is the truth …I wish more people would pay attention and not just vote down party lines……and do research before elctions…but that is to much to ask….

        • Louise

          I actually like a lot about our current board and feel that each one of those folks is doing a good job, EXCEPT for the fact that they quietly renewed Murphy’s contract over the summer without talking to us teachers to get our thoughts. Not cool. We are no longer a county that cares about teaching the whole child (ie teaching kids how to act, not just how to take tests). Character is just as important as academics, and it has been pushed aside for Mr. Data.

          • drax

            No, Louise, you don’t actually like them, you just vote for them because they are Democrats, because that’s the only way they keep winning. This is the logic of the side that keeps losing and can’t handle the cognitive dissonance of a majority of their neighbors simply disagreeing with them.

        • Mary-Austin

          According to some on here almost all the voters in Arlington are well informed and have done their homework. I mean if they vote the way I do they must be well informed. That Democratic sample ballot is just for fun.

        • drax

          There you go again, assuming that because a majority of people vote for one party, they must be voting only because of that party identification and aren’t thinking about their vote carefully. That’s silly.

          • arlmom

            It is not silly. We talk to our neighbors about county board issues. My husband has spoken in front of the school board, etc. They are to put it bluntly: completely clueless. We have opened the eyes of many that blindly vote like lemmings for anyone with a “D” after their name. Arlington Residents continually blindly vote for Dems on all Boards/Locally. For a highly educated population, it is pathetic.

          • arlmom

            FWIW–you do NOT have to vote the same way Nationally that you do Locally. You need to separate the two. You think more people would realize that.

          • drax

            So you think you know what everyone thinks? That’s even sillier.

            I suggest you stop talking and start listening. You won’t convince anyone with your arrogant attitude.

          • Louise

            Drax, I can only comment here–you have no idea why I vote for anyone. You have no idea if I know them and what they do, or how they support our students. Sometimes you make sense, but other times, you’re just looking for a fight. Annoying.

      • Jimmy

        Since you don’t register by party in Virginia, ANYONE can take part in the Democrats’ or Republicans’ nominating or “endorsement” system. ANYONE. And if the parties try to impose some kind of loyalty oath, laugh it off because that’s not constitutional nor enforceable.

        • drax

          Sure, but it doesn’t matter. Anyone can vote in the general election. If the Republicans want to win that election, they should nominate a candidate that appeals to a majority of voters.

        • Liar, liar pants…

          I personally refuse to sign something I don’t believe in. Maybe my personal ethics are too strong. I might ask the NYT Ethicist about this.

        • Loocy

          The last few school board elections have run unopposed candidates in both the primary and the general elections. We MUST get some alternative candidates to run for these seats. There is a new board member starting tonight and I have high hopes that he shows some independence from Murphy, but there was never a choice in this election. The board acts like they report to Murphy, not the other way around, and Abby Raphael in particular seems to be Murphy’s biggest fan. It’s not about (D) or (R) — it’s about any viable alternative. Independents and moderate republicans do sometimes run as democrats in local elections so that shouldn’t stop anyone from going for the democratic endorsement if they think they have a strong message.

      • drax

        How so? Everyone is eligible to vote in the general election.

  • BA Barracus

    I pity the fool who replaces him.

  • Hikin’ the pike

    He is leaving for a job across the river in PG.

  • Moi

    I, for one, am glad he’s retiring. After he and his transportation department failed to respond (respond! not respond with the answer I wanted….just respond) to a problem, I had to ask a school board member to intercede.

  • Other Arlmom

    Only two senior staff, or whatever Murphy now calls them, remain. The other six have left since he became superintendent. Two were definitely too young to retire, so that explanation is completely bogus. Principals as well. This guy is toxic and the board members who picked him can’t admit their error. Teachers can’t stand him and his sweeping everything negative into the closet with his positive spin on everything while he subtly intimidates employees. Let’s hope Noah Simon will be more pro-active on getting this guy the heck out of APS before things really deteriorate. Kids and teachers deserve better.

    • So true

      My friends who work in APS school system have commented frequently on the dictatorial style of Murphy. It’s quite sad that the School Board simply doesn’t care. They actually seem to think he is effective– he’s somehow hidden his ineptitude from them (or they simply don’t want to admit that he was a gawdawful hire)

  • Kate

    Dr. Murphy is ruining APS! We need to send him packing before it is too late.

  • henrybennetxiii

    I cannot think of a more incompetent staff person I’m glad to see leave. This person cost us millions in overage on school projects. His poor and incomplete work Scopes cost $5-7 million in overages on W-L alone. Allow me to help you pack your boxes.

    • Louise


  • Linda Hardin

    It is time for the school board to look at the top. Dr. Murphy is destroying the Arlington Way and and the moral of the APS staff. When is the school board going to come to their senses. I hope it will not be too late for my grandchildren.

  • Wild bill

    Good riddance ….unresponsive for the years I have known him. Probably why he got axe.

  • Wild bill

    Glad to see some negative comments from all the liberals in Arlington regarding the
    ACPS. Just like the County Board the whole bunch wshould be kicked out…when will this County wake up…?


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