Diana Sun is set to retire from her post as Arlington County’s chief spokeswoman this summer after 13 years on the job.
Sun, who joined the county as director of communications and assistant county manager in 2003, is slated to step down in the next couple of weeks. Her last day will be Friday, Sept. 2.
County Manager Mark Schwartz, who announced Sun’s retirement at a County Board meeting last month, said her communications department had “excellent relationships” with journalists and was available at all times to help with media relations.
“She’s held our communications efforts to the highest ethical standards and she has enhanced our reputation as a national leader,” he said.
Prior to working for the county, Sun served as the vice president of corporate communications at Capital One. The experience she brought with her had an immediate effect on the county government, her co-workers said.
“She joined us when we had at best a rudimentary public information office structure and she was bought in to professionalize and modernize the effort and she succeeded brilliantly at the task,” said Schwartz. “She built what I think is one of the best communications teams of any jurisdiction in the commonwealth and perhaps the United States. We are regarded as leaders and innovators in so many areas.”
During her time in the county government, Sun helped oversee the building and rebuilding of the county’s website, led the county’s expansion into social media, redesigned its Citizen newspaper and tracked down the history of the county seal, eventually getting it trademarked.
“The length of time you’ve been here, there’s been an enormous evolution of the communications function here in the county and a professionalization of that,” County Board member Jay Fisette said.
Photo via Arlington County
Guns Stolen from Nova Firearms in McLean — A burglary has occurred at Nova Firearms, the gun store that wanted to open a location in Cherrydale before residents pressured the store and the landlord to scuttle those plans. Two handguns were stolen from Nova Firearms’ McLean store just after midnight this past Friday. Police are seeking tips in the case. [Fairfax County Police Department]
Taxicab Fares Raised in Arlington — A taxi ride in Arlington will now cost an extra 25 cents per ride and an extra six cents per mile. The County Board on Saturday unanimously approved new taxi rates that also include a $25 cleaning fee for those who “dirty or foul a cab enough that the cab must be removed from service.” [Arlington County, WJLA]
Locals Make ’50 On Fire’ List — A number of Arlington-based companies and individuals have been named to this year’s DC Inno “50 on Fire” list. Local honorees include Vornado/Charles E. Smith honcho Mitchell Schear, Crystal City incubator Eastern Foundry, newly-IPOed Evolent Health in Ballston, Ballston-based tech firm Distil Networks and Rosslyn-based advertising agency LMO Advertising. [DC Inno]
Nauck Town Square Design Meeting — A community discussion will be held at Drew Model School to help officials arrive at a final plan and design for its Nauck Town Square project. The meeting will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. tonight (Monday). [Arlington County]
Review of Oz in Clarendon — Oz restaurant in Clarendon, which opened in September, continues to receive so-so reviews from the critics. The latest review suggests that Oz suffers from the inherent blandness of Australian cuisine, which it attempts to recreate faithfully. Oz may benefit, however, from its co-owner’s casting on the Real Housewives of Potomac. [Washington Post]
Arlington Fire Captain Retires After 35 Years — Arlington County Fire Department Captain Robert Patterson has retired after 35 years on the job. [WJLA]
Varius, a 13-year-old black lab, is retiring from the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office tomorrow after 11 years of service as a narcotics-sniffing K-9 officer.
The dog “will remain in the care of Deputy Patrick Grubar, who has been his partner since teaming up at the U.S. Customs Service K-9 Training Academy in 2004,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a press release. “The duo shared in the Arlington County Crime Solvers 2013 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award.”
Varius, who’s a senior citizen in dog years, “plans to spend his days watching Animal Planet with his pug ‘little sister’ and keeping up with fans on his Facebook account.”
Arlington is the second best place to retire in the U.S., according to new rankings from Bankrate.com.
Arlington received kudos for low crime and above-average quality of health care, along with “great” resident well-being and area walkability. Taxes and weather were deemed “average” and the only negative mark on Arlington’s report card was a “very high” cost of living.
(Arlington was paired with Alexandria as a “city,” for the purposes of the rankings.)
The only place to best Arlington in the rankings was top-ranked Mesa and Phoenix, Arizona. New York City was ranked last, at No. 172, thanks in large part to a very high cost of living and tax burden.
Bankrate.com had the following to say about Arlington.
Typically associated with America’s most famous cemetery, retirees have more to do in Arlington than visit Civil War tombstones.
There are more than 100 miles of trails, bike lanes and routes throughout the city, so it’s not surprising that residents here embrace a healthy lifestyle and rank high on the wellness index.
Arlington has a low crime rate, and locals can get by without a car. Much of the city is walker-friendly, including areas like Crystal City, Rosslyn and Ballston. The city has ample public transportation, with a handful of metro stops in the area. Neighboring Alexandria is also friendly to walkers.
Virginia also has one of the better health care systems in the country. And when compared with the other states, Virginia’s tax rate is more favorable than the national average and falls below its higher-taxing neighbor, Washington, D.C.
Eisner will leave her post at the end of May, DHS spokesman Kurt Larrick confirmed. She is the latest high-level Arlington staffer to retire, following Police Chief Doug Scott’s announcement in January and County Manager Barbara Donnellan’s announcement last Friday.
Eisner has been with DHS for more than 30 years, joining the Arlington Employment Center in 1984 and working her way up to director in 2005. Although the timing is conspicuous after Donnellan’s announcement last week, a source tells ARLnow.com there’s “nothing sinister here” and that Eisner is just hoping to travel with her new husband.
Eisner immigrated to the United States when she was 8 years old and worked as an immigrant counselor before she joined DHS, her biography says. In DHS, she has served as chief of the Economic Independence Division and served for three years as DHS deputy director before taking over the top job from Marsha Allgeier.
“She is proud to have completed the consolidation of all DHS services here at Sequoia Plaza (Public Health and Behavioral Health are joining us here this summer, joining the rest of the programs that came her in 2010) and maximizing the integration of human services in a centralized location,” Larrick said in an email. She is “also proud of all the work the department has done to strengthen, protect and empower Arlingtonians in need.”
The county has not formally announced Eisner’s retirement. It’s unclear who will take over the department when she leaves her position.
Photo via Arlington County
In an email to county employees (below), Donnellan — the top executive in county government — said she would step down June 30.
Pending the selection of a new, permanent county manager, Deputy County Manager Mark Schwartz will serve as acting county manager.
Schwartz, a 30-year Arlington resident, has served in county government since 2005. He was the county’s Chief Financial Officer before being named Deputy County Manager.
Donnellan’s resignation, while somewhat unexpected, comes at a time when some local leaders have been privately questioning the county government’s ability to effectively execute large-scale projects. Such grumbles were exacerbated by the cancellation of the county’s delayed and increasingly expensive streetcar project.
In a press release (below, after the jump), County Board Chair Mary Hynes praised Donnellan’s leadership.
“Barbara has been the consummate professional County Manager,” Hynes said. “She has kept her eye on the needs of Arlingtonians — residents and businesses — and given her heart, her intellect, and her passion to serving this community for more than 30 years. All five County Board members are tremendously grateful to her.”
Donnellan’s letter to county staff:
It has been my honor and pleasure to serve Arlington County since 1983. From my various seats – including budget analyst, finance director, director of libraries, County Manager – I have had the privilege of being part of, and helping to build, our community. And we have a lot to be proud of.
I have served Arlington County with great pride for more than three decades. While I feel in my heart that I could lead this organization for many more years, it is the right time for me to retire and start a new chapter in my life. My last day will be June 30, 2015.
Any success that I have had throughout my Arlington career has only been possible thanks to you. You are energetic, thoughtful, smart professionals who dedicate yourselves to helping to build our community. My gratitude to you is boundless.
The County Board has named Mark Schwartz as Acting Manager; he will do a great job and I know you all will support him as you have supported me.
We have an excellent leadership team in place and I have every confidence that I will leave Arlington in great hands. I will honestly miss the laughter and joy that we all shared each day, while accomplishing much for the community. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for all that you do for our community.
I’ll be on the job for another couple of months and I hope to see you around the County. I have built deep connections in Arlington over many, many years, and I will undoubtedly be seeing you around Arlington in the years to come. I hope our paths cross again, and often.
Barbara M. Donnellan
After the jump, Arlington County’s press release about Donnellan’s resignation.
Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes won’t seek re-election this November, becoming the second County Board member in a week to announce their retirement.
Hynes, 59, will serve out the rest of her term in 2015 before stepping down. Her decision, along with County Board member Walter Tejada’s announcement last Wednesday, paves the way for the first County Board election with two open seats in decades.
“After nearly 20 years of elected service to our community, it’s time for a new chapter in my life. It has been a privilege to serve this community, and I am incredibly optimistic about Arlington’s future,” Hynes said in a press release. “Arlingtonians are involved, thoughtful, and hardworking. I know they always have — AND always will — find ways to make our community a special place for those who choose to live, work, play, and learn here.”
Hynes’ retirement plan is another shakeup in Arlington’s politics, following the groundbreaking election of John Vihstadt in 2014 — the first non-Democrat elected to the Board in a general election in 31 years — and the cancellation of the planned Columbia Pike and Crystal City streetcar system.
Hynes was first elected to the County Board in 2007 and is serving her second term as chair this year. Before that, she served 12 years on the Arlington School Board — including three stints as chair — after winning the first School Board election in almost 40 years.
Hynes said she is retiring to spend more time with her family; she has previously stated that 2014 was the hardest year she’s experienced since being elected to public office. She, along with then-chairman Jay Fisette, cast the deciding votes in canceling the streetcar. Hynes told the Washington Post that “bitter disagreements over spending” did not influence her decision to retire.
Hynes declined to discuss rumors of her retirement this morning, when an ARLnow.com reporter encountered her chatting with a constituent at a Columbia Pike coffee shop. She also did not give any hints about her impending retirement decision while addressing the Arlington County Civic Federation last night.
“This is a county with good, strong bones,” she told the Civic Federation. “It’s one of the best communities in the country by lots and lots of measures. It doesn’t mean we don’t have things to work on. We’ve had a rough couple of years. there’s a lot of external forces at play.”
This year, Hynes has thus far focused her efforts on the new Facilities Study Committee, her effort to refresh “The Arlington Way” of lengthy public debate to reach consensus for big-ticket projects.
After the jump, the full press release announcing her retirement. (more…)
Seven Dems Line Up to Replace Brink — Seven Democrats are running for the House of Delegates seat being vacated by Del. Bob Brink, who’s heading to the McAuliffe administration. The candidates, who will compete in a firehouse primary on Sunday, made their pitch to members of the Arlington County Democratic Committee at its meeting in Ballston last night. Also last night, Brink thanked ACDC members for their support over his 17 years in office. [Blue Virginia, Washington Post, InsideNova]
O’Leary to Retire Monday — County Treasurer Frank O’Leary, also speaking at last night’s meeting of Arlington Democrats, formally announced his retirement. O’Leary, who has served more than 30 years as county treasurer, touted his record of reducing tax delinquency rates, increasing the county’s return on financial investments, and improving customer service. His deputy, Carla de la Pava, will be sworn in as interim treasurer after O’Leary submits his resignation Monday. [InsideNova, Blue Virginia]
Aurora Hills Babysitting Co-op Turns 50 — A babysitting co-op in Arlington’s Aurora Highlands neighborhood just celebrated its 50th anniversary. Babysitting is free in the co-op, which requires members to contribute by babysitting each other’s children. [Washington Post]
SoberRide Returns for July 4 — The Washington Regional Alcohol Program will offer free taxi rides on Independence Day tomorrow through its SoberRide program. Revelers can call 1-800-200-TAXI for a free cab ride home from 10:00 p.m. on July 4 through 4:00 a.m., as long as the fare is under $30. [WRAP]
DCA Warns of Long Lines — The Fourth of July holiday is expected to result in longer lines and wait times at Reagan National Airport this weekend. The airport is advising travelers to arrive two hours early, especially during its “peak travel times… typically during the early morning (5:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.) and late afternoon (3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.).” There may also be a mid-day peak from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Adding to the problems, the airport reports that some airlines are canceling flights due to Hurricane Arthur. [MWAA]
Flickr pool photo by Rob Cannon
Brink will retire as of June 30. His 48th District includes Crystal City and parts of north Arlington and McLean.
Brink said in a statement that being able to serve in the Virginia legislature, which counts founding fathers Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Patrick Henry among its former members, made him feel like “the luckiest guy on earth.”
It is “very likely” that Brink will be replaced in a special election in August, according to Arlington County General Registrar Linda Lindberg. The final order will come from the speaker of the House of Delegates.
Brink was reelected to a new two-year term this past November. He ran unopposed. He is leaving the legislature after accepting a position as Deputy Commissioner for Aging Services, Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s office announced this afternoon.
Brink’s office issued the following press release this afternoon.
Delegate Bob Brink (D-Arlington/McLean), who has represented the 48th District in the Virginia House of Delegates for the past 17 years, announced Friday that he will retire from the House effective June 30.
“I’ve been honored beyond words to serve my fellow citizens as a member of the House,” Delegate Brink said. “But, ‘To every thing there is a season.’ It’s time for a new person to have this privilege, and it’s time for me to move on to new challenges.”
First elected in 1997, Delegate Brink is 13th in seniority in the 100-member House. He is the Dean of Arlington’s General Assembly delegation.
The 48th District includes north Arlington, Crystal City, and part of McLean in Fairfax County.
A member of the House Appropriations Committee and its Health Subcommittee, Delegate Brink cited as some of his proudest achievements in office his work on the FAMIS program which provides health coverage to children of the working poor, as well as efforts to maintain the health care safety net of services to vulnerable Virginians. The ranking Democrat on the House Privileges and Elections Committee, he has advocated for reform of the redistricting process and expansion of access to the vote for all eligible citizens. He also serves on the Education and Transportation Committees as well as on numerous legislative study commissions.
Delegate Brink has received recognition from a variety of groups for his service in the General Assembly. In 2013 the National Federation of the Blind of Virginia presented its Commonwealth Award to him for his efforts on behalf of blind and vision-impaired students. The Virginia League of Conservation Voters has consistently commended him for his legislative record on environmental issues. He headed the Virginia YMCA’s Model General Assembly Program board for a number of years and received the YMCA’s Service to Youth Award in 2001. He is a board member and former chair of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and also serves on the board of the Federation of State Humanities Councils.
Delegate Brink concluded, “On a personal note: A few weeks before I was sworn into office in 1998, I was in Richmond for freshman orientation. One night I took a walk around the Capitol and I stopped outside the House chamber. The curtains were open and the lights were on, and for the first time I saw the vote board with my name on it.
“I’ve looked up at that board thousands of times since that night. Some days it seemed like the only vote where I was in the majority was the quorum call. But every day, the knowledge that I’m one of a handful of Virginians whose numbers include Jefferson, Madison, and Patrick Henry made me think that I must be the luckiest guy on earth.”
Fellow Arlington delegate Alfonso Lopez issued the following statement about Brink’s retirement.
Delegate Brink has lead an extraordinary career in public service. Having served our community for over sixteen years in the House of Delegates, he has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience that has helped him fight for Arlington’s values and priorities in Richmond. As a friend, mentor, and leader in the Arlington delegation, Delegate Brink’s presence in the General Assembly will be sorely missed.
State Sen. Adam Ebbin also released a statement about Brink’s retirement.
For 17 years Delegate Bob Brink has brought Arlington’s values to Richmond in an outspoken, yet gentlemanly, way.
As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, Bob has played a key role in the financial stewardship of the Commonwealth. He was an early and effective advocate of Virginia’s Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP). He is responsible for easing enrollment, expanding outreach and the increased enrollment of underprivileged Virginia children in insurance, improving health outcomes. Thousands of blind and visually impaired children have benefited from Delegate Brink’s work securing funds for specialized teaching assistance.
On a personal level, Bob has been a great friend and taught me a lot about being a legislator.
Though the people of Virginia will benefit from his services as he assumes the position of Deputy Commissioner for Aging Services in the Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services, he will certainly be missed in the General Assembly.
Westover’s Pete’s Barber Shop is no longer home to its namesake now that Peter Xereas has retired.
Xereas, a Greek immigrant, had owned the barber shop at 5847 Washington Blvd since 1968 when he officially retired Feb. 28. Pete’s was named the best barber shop in Arlington for 2013 by the readers of Arlington Magazine.
Chris Hewitt, who had worked under Xereas for about five years, has taken over the lease and operation along with his wife, Elaine Prettyman, who also works at the shop.
“He decided to hang up the clippers,” Hewitt told ARLnow.com while attending to a customer’s hair. “He’s still in good health, and he said he wants to enjoy it.”
Hewitt was hired after a barber had left Pete’s for a different job. Hewitt said on his first day, Xereas let him know the shop would eventually be his.
“That first day, I was in the chair right next to him,” Hewitt said. “He said ‘I’m not gonna be working much longer, so when I retire, you can have the barber shop.’ I said ‘sounds good,’ put my time in and tried to learn the place.”
Hewitt said Xereas is planning on returning to his native Greece for the summer to visit his ill sister. Xereas had been planning to retire since his wife died last year, and the paperwork for transferring the lease and the business over to Hewitt was complete at the end of February.
When the customer in Hewitt’s chair, Ed, heard ARLnow.com ask about how customers had been reacting to Xereas’ retirement, Ed turned around and said, “Oh my goodness.”
“That’s how they have been reacting,” Hewitt said with a laugh. “Pete loves his customers. He said he’s going to miss everyone so much, so retiring was hard.”
As news of Xereas’ retirement spread to Pete’s customer base, several regulars sent emails to ARLnow.com lamenting the loss of their favorite barber.
“The men in the house are going to look much worse for this turn of events,” one reader wrote.
“He is an Arlington icon and will be missed,” said another.
Toward the end of the haircut, Hewitt turned his customer’s chair around and trimmed his eyebrows and his mustache.
“That’s something Pete used to do,” Ed said.
The announcement was sent to Chamber members this afternoon. This year’s Chamber chairman, Tim Hughes of the law firm Hughes, Bean, Kinney & Korman P.C., will lead a search committee to find Doud’s successor.
The Chamber issued the following press release about Doud’s retirement.
After 23 years as President of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, Rich Doud has announced that he will retire from his position effective May 15, 2014.
Doud joined the Arlington Chamber in September of 1990 to begin his tenure as the membership-based, nonprofit organization’s President, then called Executive Vice President. Under Doud’s leadership, the Chamber has made a number of achievements, including creating the Arlington Business Hall of Fame to recognize impactful business leaders in the community, developing the Community Action Committee to build stronger relationships between businesses and nonprofits, ensuring firm financial stability for the Chamber, and founding Leadership Arlington.
“It is impossible to fully express the satisfaction I have experienced working to build a better Arlington and increase opportunities for businesses,” said Doud. “I appreciate being given the chance by this great organization and the incredibly capable people who comprise our membership and staff who have bettered the lives of many. The achievements of the Chamber over the past two decades have been collaborative efforts between members and staff.”
As a sixty year resident of Arlington, Doud has immersed himself into and become a prominent figure within the community. During his tenure, Doud has received honors such as: Chamber Executive of the Year, Virginia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives; Outstanding Civilian Service Medal (twice); United State Army; Legacy Award, Leadership Arlington; Spirit of Community Award, Arlington Community Foundation; and more.
His involvement in Arlington extends to his participation in community organizations and serving on various commissions and committees. A few highlights over the years include: founder and member of the Board of Regents of Leadership Arlington; assisted with the publishing of Where Valor Rests, a book about Arlington Cemetery which is given at burials there to the families; member of the Arlington County Economic Development Commission; member of the County Manager’s Institutional Leaders Roundtable; volunteer for Volunteer Arlington programs; member of the Police Chief’s Advisory Council; and member of the Washington Business Journal’s Thought Leadership Panel.
Doud came to the Chamber after a series of successful entrepreneurial ventures running small businesses. In 1984, his company was ranked 35th in the nation on Inc. magazine’s annual list of the 500 fastest growing companies in the United States.
Doud retires to spend time with his wife, as well as enjoy more family time with his three grown children and two grandsons (with a third on the way!).
2014 Chamber Chair Tim Hughes, Bean, Kinney & Korman P.C., will head a search committee seeking candidates to fill the position of President at the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. Plans for a celebration honoring Doud and his service throughout the years will be announced at a later date.
Helen Crossley — who has resided in the independent living facility at Culpepper Garden, a retirement community at 4435 N. Pershing Drive, for more than 30 years — will be turning 105 on Saturday, Aug. 24.
Crossley was a career nurse and didn’t stop practicing nursing until she was in her 90s. She remains active and independent to this day.
“She still gets around on her own, goes out to dinner with relatives, [and] participates in our monthly karaoke sessions,” said Culpepper Garden marketing director Lee Kaplowitz. “She has a tremendous sense of humor leaning towards the sarcastic side and, all in all, is a hoot.”
Photo via Culpepper Garden
After serving Rosslyn for 21 years, Rosslyn BID Executive Director Cecilia Cassidy has decided to retire. She started off as the Executive Director of Rosslyn Renaissance — an organization that merged with the BID last year — in 1992. Cassidy worked with businesses, the county government and others in the community to develop the BID, which began operations in 2003, and she has been with the organization for the past decade.
“We created the first BID in Northern Virginia. We worked with the County Manager and at the time had a $1 million dollar budget. Now now it’s a $4 million budget,” Cassidy said.
Prior to her time improving Rosslyn, Cassidy worked as a journalist and publications editor. She then served for 13 years in the affordable housing community, first as a tenant organizer at Arlington Village and after that on staff for AHC, Inc. in Arlington and The Enterprise Foundation in Columbia, Maryland.
County Manager Barbara Donnellan thanked Cassidy for her work on the BID for the past ten years.
“It was her work that really made the BIDs work here in the county,” said Donnellan.
When reminiscing on some of the projects she’s most proud of, she lists the BID’s assistance in establishing Artisphere and lobbying to have an observation deck on the Central Place building. She’s also proud of the BID’s partnership with A-SPAN in establishing a Rosslyn homeless outreach worker contract.
“We’re the only BID that has one and I’m very glad we addressed that,” Cassidy said. “There are more than a thousand BIDs across the U.S. and less than 10 percent provide service for the homeless. So we’re very proud of that.”
Former Director of Communications Lisa Rabasca left the BID as of June 28 for another job. She had been with the organization since last fall. Lee Anne McLarty, who has served as the Events and Marketing Manager for the past three years, will serve as the acting Director of Communications.
Cassidy said although it’s not ideal to have two departures in a relatively short period, the BID has been preparing for her retirement for a while. She noted that the organization is going through a re-branding process and when that finishes the BID will look to officially fill the open Director of Communications position.
Cassidy’s last day has not yet been decided, but she plans to be available to help transition the new Executive Director once the person is hired. She expects her last day to be sometime in the fall. After that she’ll take several months off and may decide to do some consulting in the future.
“Rosslyn is ready to take off. We’ve been working hard for many years and the Realize Rosslyn project is moving forward. We have a lot of great staff in place. I think they will continue to serve the Rosslyn community very well,” said Cassidy. “These jobs are very intense and exciting. It’s wonderful to be a part of growing the community. I’ll miss being in the center of all this exciting redevelopment.”
Disclosure: Rosslyn BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser
‘Mussel Bar’ to Open in Ballston — Mussel Bar & Grille, from restauranteur Robert Wiedmaier, is set to open at 800 N. Glebe Road in Ballston this summer. The small gastropub chain has existing locations in Bethesda and Atlantic City. Wiedmaier is also known for BRABO in Old Town Alexandria and Marcel’s and Brasserie Beck in D.C. [Washington City Paper]
Deputy County Manager to Retire — Deputy County Manager Marsha Allgeier is planning to retire, and the county is now searching for her successor. Allgeier has worked for Arlington County since 1998. [Sun Gazette]
Arlington Mom Survives Flesh-Eating Bacteria — An Arlington mom has survived a case of necrotizing fasciitis, the flesh-eating bacteria. Erin Smythers, a mother of three, developed the infection after getting a small cut on her finger. [WJLA]
Wakefield in State Semis Tonight — The Wakefield Warriors boys basketball team will face John Marshall in the state semifinals tonight. Tipoff is scheduled for 8:45 p.m. at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Update at 2:00 p.m.: The video will be streamed live online, via the Wakefield High School website. [Northern Va. Sports]
Flickr pool photo by Sunday Money
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.