Fairfax County schools chief Karen Garza has announced a series of new appointments, filling key roles in her administration’s leadership days after rolling out a major shift in the school system’s organizational structure.
At a school board meeting Thursday, Garza announced that Steven Lockard, a school administrator in Frederick County, will become her deputy superintendent Aug. 1, replacing Dan Parris, who plans to retire in July.
Lockard is Frederick’s deputy superintendent. He joined the 40,000-student school system as a fourth-grade teacher in 1992 and later served as a principal and associate superintendent overseeing elementary schools. As deputy superintendent, Lockard helped narrow achievement gaps for English-learners as well as minority, poor and special education students, and he led the development of the county’s Common Core curriculum, according to a Fairfax schools statement. Lockard said his experiences in Frederick were good preparation for his new job.
“Fairfax is a large and diverse system,” Lockard said. “Not only do you need to continue to meet the needs of students who are struggling, but also those who come to school ready to learn. . . . I hope to bring my skill sets to a new environment to contribute and help.”
Teaching and educational leadership come naturally to Lockard. His father, Brian Lockard, was superintendent of Carroll County schools in the 1990s.
“My dad has served as a tremendous mentor and role model for me,” Lockard said. “I gleaned a lot of things from him when he was working as a school leader. He really valued the importance of relationships. It builds trust, and everything moves from there.”
Lockard is a graduate of Frostburg State University and the University of Maryland, from which he received a doctorate in education policy and leadership. He spent part of his career working for former Fairfax Superintendent Jack D. Dale, who came to Fairfax from Frederick, where he was superintendent.
In Frederick, Lockard oversaw a recent reorganization of the schools’ three central office divisions.
“Teaching is a complex art,” Lockard said. “There’s not a one-size-fits-all for the classroom.”
Garza unveiled a major reorganization in Fairfax last week, including the creation of three new executive titles, to take effect July 1. On Thursday night, Garza officially announced that Kim Dockery, assistant superintendent for special services, will become chief academic officer; Chief Financial Officer Susan Quinn will become chief operations officer; and Assistant Superintendent Marty Smith will become chief of staff.
Dockery has been responsible for special education, student discipline programs and student mental health. As chief academic officer, she will be responsible for instruction, teaching and student testing.
Quinn, who has led the school system’s budget development, will add to her financial-services portfolio the areas of human resources, information technology, and facilities and transportation.
Smith will be responsible for communications, government relations and admissions to regional magnet Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.