Charlottesville City School Board

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The Charlottesville City School Board is the body that makes decisions related to Charlottesville City Schools. For the 2023 fiscal year, the school system serves approximately 4,500 students in grades K-12, employs nearly 1,000 people, operates 13 facilities, and has a budget of $106.9 million dollars.[1] ($23,755/student)

Board meetings

Regular monthly meetings are held the first Thursday of each month at 5 pm – Booker Reaves Media Center, Charlottesville High School (CHS).

Current Board Membership

Charlottesville City School Board (2022-2023 session)
Name Date assumed office Current Term Started Current Term Ends Next Election
Lisa Larson-Torres January 2018 January 1, 2022 December 31, 2025 November 4, 2025
James Bryant (Board Chair) April 2018 January 1, 2020 December 31, 2023 November 7, 2023
Dom Morse (Board Vice-Chair) January 2022 January 1, 2022 December 31, 2025 November 4, 2025
Emily Dooley January 2022 January 1, 2022 December 31, 2025 November 4, 2025
Jennifer McKeever January 2012 January 1, 2020 December 31, 2023 November 7, 2023
Sherry Kraft January 2016 January 1, 2020 December 31, 2023 November 7, 2023
Lashundra Bryson Morsberger January 2020 January 1, 2020 December 31, 2023 November 7, 2023

Dr. Royal A. Gurley Jr. began as Charlottesville’s superintendent on October 4, 2021 with a four‐year contract.[2] In July 2023, the School Board replaced this agreement with a new four-year contract, extending his term through 2027.  

Previous School Board Memberships


See Charlottesville City School Board (History)

In 1762, Charlottesville was founded by an Act of Assembly as the Albemarle County seat. Incorporated as a town in 1801, the town officially became an independent city in 1888, when it incorporated and annexed surrounding land to create a city of nearly 800 acres.

The Virginia Constitution of 1869, passed during Reconstruction, established a statewide system of free public schools. Public education was decentralized and unsystematic. There were no compulsory attendance laws, no standards for teachers, no required curriculum, and no uniform length of terms. Textbooks usually consisted of either The McGuffey Reader or The Holmes Reader, both of which were filled with parables that imparted lessons about thrift, hard work, self-discipline, and the superiority of rural life. One of the first public schools in Charlottesville dates back to 1881 and was named "Midway Grammar and High School" or Primary School, and was the school for white children. Also referred to as Lane or Charlottesville School (although a high school was built in 1940 which was also named Lane after Principal James Walker Lane). Midway was located on the east end of Main Street and originally provided education for elementary, middle and high school students.

On December 20, 2007, the Charlottesville City School Board loaned the collection of Records of the Charlottesville School Board, 1869-2006 to the University of Virginia Library.[3]

School Board Members prior to 1948

On May 17, 1948, the eight-member School Board, whose terms of office extend under prior law beyond July 1st, 1948, submitted their resignation to the City Council - to be effective June 30th, 1948, "in view of the previsions of the Act of Assembly passed at the 1948 Sessions under which the School Board shall consist of seven members".

  1. Albert G. A. Balz
  2. J. Fred Harlan
  3. S. F. Hamm
  4. Ida D. Byrd
  5. George T. Starnes
  6. N. T. Scumate
  7. W. T. Dettor
  8. Randolph H. Perry

Appointed School Board Members (1948–2006)

In 1948, the eight-man council was asked by the City Council to resign, thereby allowing a seven-member council as required by state law. Three year terms started on July 1st and ended June 30th; council usually held school board elections the last week in June and sometimes in July.

From 1948 to 1956, the seven-member School Board was usually composed of at least one member appointed from each of the four wards. In the 1980, city council would sometimes choose school board members, from the list of applicants, based on particular areas of the city.

Prior to 2004, each member was appointed or reappointed to serve a three-year term by the City Council. Starting July 1, 2006, the city switched to an at-large (city-wide) elected school board serving four-year terms. The city charter was changed in 2020 to reflect the change.

Board Members (appointed by City Council) Superintendent
Year Chair First Ward Second Ward Third Year Fourth Ward At Large At Large At Large
Seat 1 Seat 2 Seat 3 Seat 4 Seat 5 Seat 6 Seat 7
1948 Ida D. Byrd Randolph H. Perry J. Fred Harlan H. W. Walsh Dr. Albert G. A. Balz Junius R. Fishburne W. T. Dettor
1949 Harry W. Walsh Dr. Charles J. Frankel
1950 Dr. Sol B. Weinberg R. Stanley Goodman, Jr.
1951 Ida D. Byrd Harry Wright P. A. Wallenborn Hugh L. Sulfridge
1952 Dr. F. G. Lankford, Jr. John G. Wall
1953 James Harry Michael, Jr. R. Stanley Goodman, Jr. Fendall R. Ellis
1954 Margaret Maupin Harry Wright P. A. Wallenborn
1955 Dr. John. G. Wall Roscoe S. Adams, Sr.
1956 R. Stanley Goodman, Jr. Earl V. Thacker, Jr. James Harry Michael, Jr. R. Stanley Goodman, Jr.
1957 Earl V. Thacker, Jr. Harry Wright P. A. Wallenborn
1958 Richard A. Meade Roscoe S. Adams, Sr.
1959 Roscoe S. Adams James Harry Michael, Jr. Chester R. Babcock
1960 T. L. Mullinnix John L. Hammond P. A. Wallenborn
1961 Richard A. Meade Edith H. Rudy Roscoe S. Adams, Sr.
1962 Dr. W. Copley McLean Chester R. Babcock
1963 Richard Meade M. B. Fogleman Edith H. Rudy John F. Harlan, Jr. George C. Tramontin
1964 Chester R. Babcock Grover W. Forloines Charles A. Via, Jr.
1965 Edith Rudy Dr. W. Copley McLean Ray Bell Thomas J. Michie, Jr.
1966 W. Copley McLean Robert M. Humphris Hovey Dabney J. A. Kessler, Jr.
1967 Grover W. Forloines Thomas J. Michie, Jr. Edward R. Rushton
1968 Dr. W. Copley McLean Henry B. Mitchell
1969 T. Elsom Johnson, Jr. Bernard A. Morin Larence A. Brunton
1970 Alvin Clements Thomas J. Michie, Jr.
1971 Laurence Brunton Harry A. Tenney Henry B. Mitchell
1972 Henry B. Mitchell Charles Webb Elizabeth A. Bowers Richard L. Jennings
1973 J. A. Kessler, Jr. Grace Tinsley William J. Ellena
1974 Dale Metcalf Henry B. Mitchell
1975 Paul Phipps Elizabeth A. Bowers Richard L. Jennings
1976 Richard L. Jennings J. A. Kessler, Jr. Gary Hardley
1977 Raymond A. Hailes Alicia B. Lugo
1978 Wallace Reed Caroline Holloway Richard L. Jennings
1979 Mark Krebs Gaines Anderegg
1980 David Sheffield Alicia B. Lugo
1981 Alicia B. Lugo Joseph Mooney Dora Brooks Virginia Schatz Lawrence Burruss Thomas J. McLernon
1982 Mark Krebs Vincent C. Cibbarelli
1983 John J. Pezzoli Alicia B. Lugo
1984 Joseph Mooney Clifford Bennett
1985 Emily Couric
1986 Joseph Mooney John J. Pezzoli Rauzelle J. Smith
1987 John Pezzoli Linda Seaman Clifford Bennett James Hingeley
1988 Emily Couric
1989 John J. Pezzoli Rauzelle J. Smith
1990 Emily Couric Linda Seaman Clifford Bennett Frances Johnson Joseph R. McGeehan
1991 Rauzelle J. Smith William H. Atwood Al Elias
1992 Robert Bloodgood Rauzelle J. Smith
1993 Linda Seaman Linda Seaman Mary-Susan Payne Frances Johnson Tamyra Turner
1994 Mary-Susan Payne Olivia Boykin
1995 Al Elias Linda Bowen
1996 Mary-Susan Payne Stephen Campbell Glenn Stratton Olivia Boykin Cole Hendrix Elva Holland Dorothea Shannon
1997 Mary-Susan Payne Richard Merriwether
1998 Linda Bowen
1999 John Santoski Olivia Boykin
2000 Stephen Campbell Muriel Wiggins Dede Smith
2001 Richard Merriwether Julie Gronlund Linda Bowen
2002 Linda Bowen Bill Igbani Peggy Van Yahres Michael Heard Ronald Hutchinson
2003 Dede Smith Byron Brown
2004 Ned Michie Scottie Griffin
2005 Julie Gronlund Louis Bograd Juandiego Wade Alvin Edwards Leah Puryear Robert Thompson

John L. Hammond resigned from the City School Board (effective June 19, 1961)

Three year terms starting on July 1st - ending June 30th. Maximum term of nine (9) years.

On March 10, 1947, in a special session of the City Council, Strother F. Hamm was unanimously elected as member of the City School Board from the First Ward to serve the unexpired term of the late Hope W. Gleason.

Appointed / Elected School Board Members (2004–2006)

Session Election Year Chair Board Members {appointed} (elected) Superintendent
July 1, 2006-December 31, 2007 2006 2006 {Julie Gronlund} {Louis Bograd} (Ned Michie) (Juandiego Wade) (Kathy Galvin) {Alvin Edwards} (Leah Puryear) Rosa Atkins
2007 2007 Alvin Edwards (Colette E. Blount) (Llezelle A. Dugger) (Alvin Edwards)

Elected School Board Members (2006–present)

In 2004, the Charlottesville City Council (2004-2005) passed an ordinance changing the method of selecting school board members to direct election by the voters.[4] Prior to switching to a city-wide elected school board in 2006, the City Council appointed the seven board the eight are elected in a ward voting system, while the eighth is selected at large from the entire city.

The city school board is officially nonpartisan; however, all are affiliated with the Democratic Party.

Note: All Virginia school board elections are nonpartisan by law, School Board candidates in Virginia must qualify for the ballot as “independents” (by voter petition signatures), so primary elections are never held for school board.


At the regular board meeting, held Thursday, August 20, 2009, Chair Michie called the meeting to order at 6:15 p.m., noting this was the first paperless meeting using Electronic School Board.[5]

On February 6, 2020, at the beginning of the regular monthly meeting of the School Board, Chair Jennifer McKeever asked all those present to observe a moment of silence.[6] Previous to this meeting the Board began its meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.[7]

Salary of members

On December 4, 2014, the Board approved an increase in salary to $5,300 for the School Board Chair and $4,500 for other Board Members. Upon a roll call vote being taken, the vote was: Colette Blount, Jennifer McKeever, Ned Michie, Leah Puryear, and Juandiego Wade voting yes. Amy Laufer and Willa Neale voting no. The motion passed. 5 – 2. Prior to the vote, Michie noted that this was an appropriate time for an increase especially given the expenditures required to run an election. The salary increase became effective January 2016. [8]


In order to have their names placed on the ballot, all candidates shall be nominated only by petition. Candidates need to get 125 signatures from registered voters in order to run.[9] [10] If no candidates file for election to a school board office and no person who is qualified to hold the office is elected by write-in votes, a vacancy shall be deemed to exist in the office as of January 1st following the general election.[11]


According to the Code of Virginia, should a vacancy occur on the school board at any time, other than by expiration of term, the seat is to be filled by the governing body for the unexpired term. In the event of a vacancy in an unexpired term of any appointed school board member, a replacement shall be elected at the next regularly scheduled general election to fill the remainder of the term. No special election shall be held, however, if the general election at which it is to be held is scheduled in the year in which the term expires. [12]

Session Election Year Chair Vice-Chair Board Members Superintendent
(2007-2008) 2007 Ned Michie Leah Puryear Juandiego Wade Kathy Galvin Ned Michie Colette Blount Llezelle Dugger Alvin Edwards Rosa Atkins
(2008-2009) 2007 2008 Ned Michie
(2010-2011) 2009 2010 Leah Puryear Guian McKee
(2012-2013) 2011 2012 Ned Michie Amy Laufer Willa Neale Jennifer McKeever
2013 Juandiego Wade
(2014-2015) 2013 2014
2015 Amy Laufer
(2016-2017) 2015 2016 Sherry Kraft Adam Hastings
(2018-2019) 2017 2018 Juandiego Wade Lisa Larson-Torres James Bryant
2018 2019 Jennifer McKeever Ned Michie
(2020-2021) 2019 2020 James Bryant Lashundra Bryson Morsberger
2021 Lisa Larson-Torres
(2022-2023) 2021 2022 Dom Morse Emily Dooley Royal A. Gurley Jr.
2023 James Bryant
(2024-2025) 2023 2024 Shymora Cooper Amanda Burns Chris Meyer Nicole Richardson
(2026-2027) 2025 2026



October 31, 2010 – Alvin Edwards resigned
Guian McKee appointed to fill vacant seat
January 2019 - Amy Laufer resigned and moved to county.
Ned Michie appointed to fill seat vacated by Amy Laufer who resigned January 2019
March 3, 2018 - Adam Hastings stepped down and moved to county.[13]
James Bryant appointed to fill vacant seat previously held by Adam Hastings who resigned.
November 6, 2018, James Bryant won a special election for the Charlottesville School Board to replace the vacancy left when Adam Hastings who stepped down on March 3, 2018.[13]
November 7, 2023, Candidates Amanda Burns, Shymora Cooper, Chris Meyer, and Nicole Richardson ran unopposed to fill the four open seats on the Charlottesville City School Board. For the first time in 20 years, more than half of the Board’s seven seats were filled by new members.[14]

2019 vacancy

Amy Laufer resigned in early January 2019. The Board will make an appointment at its meeting on February 21, 2019.

Former member and chair Ned Michie sought a return to the board on an interim basis to replace Laufer, as did former City Councilor Kristin Szakos. The School Board made an appointment on February 21. [15]


Charlottesville elects its School Board in a non-partisan election held at the same time as the general election for City Council. School Board members are elected at-large for four-year terms, with elections staggered each two years.

2021 election

After the 2019 election, the next election for School Board will be on November 2, 2021. The candidate filing deadline for this election will be on June 8, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.

2018 special election

There was a special election to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Adam Hastings on March 3, 2018. [16] Applications to serve as an interim member until the November 6 election were taken through March 23.

Candidates for interim appointment in 2019

Before Elected School Boards (1960-2006)

  • Prior to 1995, Virginia school board members were appointed. The 1994 General Assembly passed an act(Approved April 10, 1994) allowing localities to decide between elected and appointed boards. The statute reads:
"If a majority of the qualified voters voting in such referendum vote in favor of changing the method of selecting school board members to direct election by the voters, then the members of the school board shall be elected by popular vote. Elections of school board members in a county, city, or town shall be held to coincide with the elections for members of the governing body of the county, city, or town at the regular general election in November in the case of a county or the regular general election in May in the case of a city or town. In no event shall any election of school board members take place prior to 1994." § 22.1-57.3. Election of school board members. (1994)
  • The Charlottesville Board of Elections held the 2006 election in which Charlottesville City School Board members were elected by popular vote for the first time. Prior to that, school board members were appointed by City Council in accordance with the 1976 City Code:
Sec. 2-341. - Composition; appointment and terms of members.
The school board of the city shall be composed of seven (7) members, to be appointed by the city council, and there shall be at least one (1) member from each ward of the city. All vacancies occurring by expiration of the term of office, as provided in the Charter, shall be filled at the second regular meeting of the city council in June of each year for a term of three (3) years, beginning on July 1. Vacancies occurring otherwise than by expiration of the term of office shall be filled for the unexpired term. No member shall be eligible to serve more than three (3) successive full three-year terms. If, for any reason, the city council should not fill the vacancies on or before July 1, as above provided, appointments, when made, shall be for the unexpired term. (Code 1976, § 2-109)

In 2020, the General Assembly approved changes to the City Charter to releect the 2006 election changes as such:

§ 45. (1946, c. 384; repealed, 2020, cc. 813, 814)
§ 45-a. School board.
The City of Charlottesville shall constitute a single school district. The school board of the city shall consist of seven members. In accordance with the general laws of the Commonwealth, three of the school board members shall be elected in November 2021 and four members shall be elected in November 2023 to fill vacancies occurring on the first of January in the years following the year in which they are elected. School board members shall serve terms of four years. The members of the school board on the effective date of this Charter are hereby confirmed in office until the thirty-first day of December in the final year of the term of office for which they were elected. The board shall have all powers and perform all duties granted to and imposed upon school boards of cities by the general laws of the Commonwealth. (1948, c. 124; 2020, cc. 813, 814)


  1. Web. Budget and Finance Department Overview, Charlottesville City Schools, retrieved Feb. 23, 2023.
  3. Web. Records of the Charlottesville School Board, 1869-2006, #14210, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va., 2018 By the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia., retrieved May 27, 2023.
  5. Web. [ MINUTES, BUSINESS MEETING OF THE SCHOOL BOARD CHARLOTTESVILLE CITY SCHOOLS], City of Charlottesville School Board, Thursday, August 20, 2009 (6:00 PM), retrieved Feb. 23, 2023.
  6. Web. MINUTES, SCHOOL BOARD MEETING, CHARLOTTESVILLE CITY SCHOOLS, Thursday, February 6, 2020 (5:00 PM), retrieved May 26, 2023.
  7. Web. MINUTES, SCHOOL BOARD MEETING, CHARLOTTESVILLE CITY SCHOOLS, Booker T. Reaves Media Center, Charlottesville High School, Thursday, January 9, 2020 (5:00 PM), retrieved May 26, 2023.
  9. Web. Four spots open on Charlottesville City School Board, CBS29, Published: May. 24, 2023 at 3:41 PM EDT, retrieved May 27, 2023.
  10. Web. § 24.2-506. Petition of qualified voters required; number of signatures required; certain towns excepted., Code of Virginia, 2020, retrieved May 27, 2023.
  11. Web. § 22.1-57.3. Election of school board members; election of tie breaker., Code of Virginia, retrieved May 27, 2023.
  12. Web. Chapter 5. School Boards; Selection, Qualification and Salaries of Members., retrieved May 26, 2023.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Web. Charlottesville School Board calls for gun legislation, briefed on student walkout plans, Josh Mandell, Charlottesville Tomorrow, March 1, 2018, retrieved March 2, 2018.
  14. Web. Meet the four candidates joining Charlottesville City School Board, The Cavalier Daily, November 6, 2023
  15. Web. Michie, Szakos among interim School Board hopefuls, Katherine Knott, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, February 8, 2019, retrieved February 24, 2020.
  16. Web. City School Board initiates process to fill vacancy, Josh Mandell, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, March 12, 2018, retrieved March 19, 2018.

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