If you haven’t heard already, Henrico County Public Schools has a new superintendent, Dr. Amy Cashwell. Before entering school administration, Dr. Cashwell was a former second and fourth grade teacher in Virginia Beach. She credited her interest towards education to her childhood experience of growing up in a military family. “We moved a lot which means I went to a lot of different schools and sometimes those transitions were challenging. It was nice to know that I had teachers and staff rallied around making me feel safe and welcome” she said. Her “affinity for teaching” ever since she was little was another key factor in why she became a teacher.
Dr. Cashwell went into administration with the help of the experiences she gained from working in the school system. She stated that, “While I was a teacher I was able to take on some different leadership roles.” She served as a department chair, took on lots of committee work, and as she said, she “started getting involved in helping write and shape the curriculum not just for the teachers in the school where I was teaching but for the whole school division that I was working in at the time.”
She began to see the impacts made on the students. She said, “not just the classroom but the whole team of people thinking about what it looks like across the system.” From this she made the decision to obtain a master’s degree in administration, leading to her role of assistant principal and eventually principal, in addition to where she is now.
As of now, Dr. Cashwell hopes to help Henrico County Public Schools “maintain its reputation for excellence.” She hopes that there will be changes made in the areas of equity, diversity, and inclusivity. Her main goal is that students and their families should feel that there are equal opportunities for them “no matter what their gender, socio-economic status, religion, and race is.” She stated that she would “really like to see that be one of the major steps that we take forward as a school division during my time here.”
Apart from school related activities, Dr. Cashwell enjoys gardening with her daughters whenever she finds free time in her packed schedule. When asked if she could travel anywhere in the world, she replied with “some place in Asia” so that she could take an actual look at the history of the world “which you can’t really get from here.” The interview concluded with a piece of advice from her to our graduating seniors. She advised them to “Think about your growth and development as a person, and not just academically. Many times seniors are thinking about what they have to do to meet the course requirements required but they often miss the opportunities to grow as a person and become life ready.” Glen Allen Jaguars are excited to have such a great role model and want her to know that she’s welcome to visit anytime!