S: A tribute to Dr. Stewart Roberson Hanover County 1995-2011
BC: The End
FC: created with love by the faculty and staff at Henry Clay and John M. Gandy Elementary Schools | A tribute to Dr. Stewart Roberson Hanover County Public Schools Superintendent 1995-2011
1: We hope that as you embark on new adventures in your career, you will know what an incredible and lasting impact you had us.
2: Dear Dr. Roberson, As a school community, we will certainly miss your passionate leadership. However, your mark for achieving greatness in Hanover County Schools will always be remembered and valued. We will continue your theme of keeping the "main thing" the "main thing" throughout our years of service. It is with this theme that we will continue marching on with the "right people on the bus". I have fond memories of my interview with you for the principal position at Henry Clay Elementary. As I waited in the school board lobby, my mind raced to rehearse some key points on leadership. Then, the moment came when I began the flight up to the office of the superintendent or "the man behind the curtain." You were very cordial throughout the interview process, but I could sense that you were not entirely convinced I was the right person for the job. To convince you of my dedication, I shared with you that instead of celebrating my birthday The Jefferson, I was interviewing! Little did I know that you had never hired anyone on their birthday. I was grateful to add a first to your experiences. | You will always be remembered for your humility and compassion for everyone in your organization. At times, I would compare you to "Rain Man" because of your innate ability to remember figures and people's names. People would often remark how special they felt when you greeted them by name. The phone rang on my first day at HCES with the caller ID flashing "Dr. Roberson". My anxiety level rose, however, it was too early in my career for an error to occur (that would come later). Your call was only to welcome me aboard, which is another fine example of the care you extended to your employees. Your dedication showed in the way you gave your time and energy to the many functions that you tirelessly attended each and every year. Teachers and students always were appreciative of your personal visit on the first day of school. The utmost example of dedication, however, is hamming it up at the Ashland Variety Show. Many thanks for being an extraordinary leader who knew the way, went the way, and showed the way. You empowered everyone to move from "good to great". Best of luck with your new beginning. We will miss you! ~Terri
5: Dear Dr. Roberson, The John M. Gandy Elementary School community will miss you dearly as you transition to take on new opportunities and meet new goals. We are so thankful for the personal and professional support with which you have blessed us. The journey we are on of continuous school improvement at HCES and JGES would not have looked the same without you. Your belief in us, along with the dedicated resources you provided for us, helped us create the current standard of achievement. Thank you from all of us! Hearing you reflect on your 16 years of service with Hanover County Public Schools brings me back to my first year in education. My service also started 16 years ago as a reading specialist at Mechanicsville Elementary School. One of my fondest memories of that first year of teaching is reading to a group of students in the library and having you stop by, listen, and interact with the group. To my great surprise and even greater pleasure, I received a hand-written note from you in the pony several days later. I still have the note and that single act of thoughtfulness has inspired me to always try to treat others in the same manner. Thank you for also making such a point to remember so many personal things about each of us. My daughter still remembers the day we saw you in Ukrop's and you made a special point to speak to her. She was in kindergarten and knows that her mother's "boss" knows her and she feels very, very special! My father still speaks of meeting you during a School Board visit and he feels even more special to have spoken with you about his daughter! Sincerely, Leigh Finch
6: "Always keep the main thing, the main thing." -Dr. Roberson | "Dr. Roberson has an incredibly sincere personality, along with an uncanny memory which makes others feel cared for and appreciated." -Kristin Bower, JGES
7: "He has significantly raised the profile of Hanover County Schools within the Richmond Metropolitan area, making us a leader amongst other high-level school systems. We have become more strategic and professional under his guidance." -Andrea Ferment, JGES | "Dr. Roberson makes a point to visit each school, speak with teachers and students, and make his friendly face known. He is honest, thoughtful, and genuine." -Cory Cox, JGES
10: "I always thought it was nice that he took the time to attend the CAC meetings" -Gini Kain, JGES | "I have loved seeing his positive attitude at every convocation. He certainly knows how to get a year started on the right foot!" -Cory Cox, JGES
11: Dr. Roberson, Henry Clay's first grade team sends you warm wishes for the future, whatever that may be. We have enjoyed working with you over the last several years. You have encouraged an attitude of cooperation and positivity in Hanover County for the last 15 years and have made an impact that will last well into the future. Please know that you will always have a place in our hearts and minds, as you have brought us moments of laughter as well as moments to ponder the importance of what we do every day. Thank you for always making us feel appreciated and valued. | Pam Morgan, Jodi Anderson- Jones, Angela Gruss, Erin Vasconcellos, Tricia Trent, & Mallory Wakefield
12: Dear Dr. Roberson, Shortly after I took my current position as a Primary Literacy teacher at Henry Clay, you came to visit our school. I"m sure you do not specifically remember this visit back in 2008, but I certainly do. It was a time when I was struggling with whether or not I was making any progress with my students, so your note to me was extremely timely. You said, among other things, that my students responded "wonderfully" to me, and you thanked me for the difference that you heard I was making daily. The reason I will always remember this visit is because you showed you cared by reminding me of the "main thing". Just as developing a positive and supportive relationship is essential to reaching students, it goes a really long way in reaching teachers, too. Thank you for caring. You will be so missed. Sincerely, Carol Starke Primary Literacy Teacher Reading Recovery HCES
13: Dear Dr. Roberson, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your unwavering support of the staff, students, and community of Hanover County. Your professional yet approachable manner has always impressed me. You have a natural and sincere ability to truly listen to people when they are talking with you. No matter the title or distinction of the person, you give them the same respect and attention. That is a rare attribute to find in a person. As a "newer" leader in this county, I look forward to continually developing my own skills and will certainly continue to draw from the example you have provided here in Hanover. Your authenticity and compassion is inspiring. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to grow and lead. You will be missed and thought of often. Fondly, Lindsay Mottley assistant principal, Henry Clay E.S
14: "I meet regularly with all of the Region One PRC's and I can tell you from first-hand experience that Hanover County has been extremely fortunate to have had this brilliant, dedicated, compassionate leader for the last 15 years. Many LEA's are not committed to supporting their parents and I've been very proud to work for a man who so consistently does." -Kelly Jones, Parent Resource Center
15: "Ours is too noble, too beautiful a profession for us to let people slip into viewing it as a job; everyone must find meaning in their work." | add educational quote and JGES staff photo
16: "His support of the Leadership Academy allows many young teachers to take part in leadership opportunities."
17: "He values the human resources of this county, and did all he could do to preserve that, even during tough economic hardship."
18: "He is always so personable when he speaks to you; keeping eye contact with you while smiling. That smile always wins you over!" -Rebecca Wynne, JGES
19: Because of your faith and commitment to keeping student achievement the "main thing", we were able to make incredible growth over the years. Thank you for your belief in us and the students of this community. | JGES/HCES Reading SOL Pass Rates 2004: 32% 2005: 66.5% 2006: 78% 2007: 79.7% 2008: 91% 2009: 93.7% 2010: 91% JGES/HCES Math SOL Pass Rates 2004: 33% 2005: 71% 2006: 80% 2007: 86.7% 2008: 92.9% 2009: 96% 2010: 97.9%
20: As one chapter closes, another is certainly beginning. Thank you for your service, your guidance, and your friendship. We are grateful to have worked with you. -Terri Keck, Lindsay Mottley, Leigh Finch, and Dana Jackson