School enrollment is expected to top 30,000 next year, according to recently released figures.

An estimated 31,565 students are projected to attend Loudoun County public schools beginning in August 2000. That is 2,778 more--a 9.7 percent increase--than this year's enrollment of 28,787.

In the next school year, which will begin in August 2001, enrollment is estimated to grow 8.9 percent, to 34,359, said Sam Adamo, the director of planning and legislative services for the district.

The Loudoun school population has been increasing nearly 10 percent a year for the past several years, making it the state's fastest-growing school district and the nation's third-fastest.

Meanwhile, the search is on for a new deputy superintendent of schools to help cope with all those students.

A help-wanted advertisement in the current issue of Education Week magazine says the district is looking for an educator with at least 10 years' experience as a teacher or an administrator. The annual salary ranges from $74,951 to $101,014, according to the advertisement.

The new deputy to Superintendent Edgar B. Hatrick III will replace Harry Bibb, who retired in June 1997.

Ned D. Waterhouse, the assistant superintendent for pupil services, is considered the in-house favorite for the job, but he said last week that he had not decided whether to pursue it.

The deadline for applicants is Nov. 12. The new deputy is expected to begin work Jan. 24.