Dana Bedden is Richmond's New Superintendent

The members of the City of Richmond School Board met in closed session from 3:30 to 5 pm today and voted 8-0 to hire Dr. Dana T. Bedden to be Richmond's next Superintendent of Schools.  Board chairman Jeffrey Bourne said that Derrick Jones, who represents the 8th District, had an unavoidable conflict, but sent word that he was in agreement with the vote.

Bourne said that Bedden officially accepted the offer, pending approval of Bedden's wife, but noted that Bedden is ready to start to work right now.  Details of what Bedden will earn and what his total compensation package still need to be worked out, but Bourne said that the board's unanimous vote is a great way to begin Bedden's tenure as superintendent. 

"Everyone is relieved and excited that we have a solid and experienced Superintendent," Bourne said. "We have a tremendous amount of work to do, but we are all confident that Dr. Bedden will deliver the excellence that Richmond's children and taxpayers deserve."

~ Check back for more news as it develops.  Meanwhile, read the following biographical information provided by the School Board:

Dr. Dana Tyrone Bedden

Dr. Bedden holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a master’s degree in Educational Administration from Pennsylvania State University. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida, completed post-doctoral courses in School Business Leadership at Wilkes University and attended Harvard University Graduate School of Education Leadership Institute for Superintendents.

An accomplished, creative, high-energy leader with 20 years of experience in administration and leadership, Dr. Bedden has a results-oriented record of improving academic achievement, working with diverse groups, increasing parent/community involvement, implementing systems-thinking, and providing a positive school and work environment. Dr. Bedden has demonstrated effective leadership skills in standards and performance based practices, human resource management, fiscal management, and school/community partnerships.

In his most recent position as superintendent of the Irving (Texas) Independent School District, Dr. Bedden oversaw an economically and socially diverse school district with 4500 employees serving 35,111 students representing 90 countries and speaking over 50 languages on 38 campuses. The position also entailed overseeing the development and management of a $260 million general fund budget and approximate $400 million total budget. His responsibilities included implementing a new multi-year strategic plan for the school district, developing a strategic communications plan for improvement of both internal and external communication. 

Dr. Bedden led Irving ISD through one of its most difficult financial periods resulting from state funding reductions while maintaining the District’s strong AA+ and Aa2 bond ratings and earning recognition from the State Comptroller as a five-star district from 2010-2012 for financial management and academic progress (highest rating for improving student achievement while keeping expenditures relatively low).

Superintendent Bedden provided guidance and professional learning for his leadership team on systems-thinking and the use of balanced scorecard to support organizational improvement. During his three year tenure, the district expanded its Advanced Placement course offerings and increased the percentage of students taking: AP courses by 13.6%, AP exams scores by 23.6%, AP Scholars recognition by 14.4% and the SAT participation rate from 39% to 85%. His system-wide reading and math extended learning program for grades K-11 provided 85,000 books for summer reading and math enrichment activities. 

During the 2011-2012 school year, each comprehensive high school began implementation of signature programs in the areas of: Architecture, Construction and Engineering (ACE); Aviation and Bio-Medical Science; Energy and Environmental Entrepreneurship as part of twelve career and technical education pathways. The Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses taken by students increased over 50%. Fine Arts enrollment also experienced a significant increase in enrollment of approximately 18%. In 2012 and 2013, two of the four Irving ISD high schools received Silver Medal Recognition by U.S. News & World Report as being in the top 8% of more than 21,000 high schools. 

In 2013, two of the four high schools were also selected for Newsweek’s Best High Schools. The District’s graduation rate increased from 78% in 2009 to 86% in 2013.
Prior to Irving ISD, Dr. Bedden served as superintendent for Richmond County (Augusta, GA) where he also had two high schools recognized in the top 200 schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Particularly noteworthy were the improvements in academic performance in multiple areas. 

Along with an increase in the percentage of schools making adequate yearly progress (AYP), the percentage of students graduating increased from 63.8% to 77%. In addition, seven out of eight comprehensive high schools increased their graduation rate during his tenure as superintendent.

He has also served as a Regional Superintendent in Philadelphia Public Schools, High School Principal at School Without Walls Senior High School in Washington, D.C., a public, urban college preparatory school, Subschool Principal in Fairfax County Schools, Director of Athletics and middle school teacher in other school districts.

Dr. Bedden has extensive experience serving on local, state and national committees and boards of community and business organizations as well as a being a speaker on important educational issues. He has published, contributed or been featured in several professional publications such as Phi Delta Kappa, Executive Education, District Administrator, and SMARTBUSINESS ~ October 2013.