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Summer 2007

Longwood Gentlemen Leaders in Public Education

Gina Caldwell
Associate Editor

Three Gentlemen Leaders From left: Jim Thornton, '85; Dan Grounard, '86; Dave Holleran, '85.

Longwood graduates Dan Grounard, ’86, Jim Thornton, ’85, and Dave Holleran, ’85 have a lot in common. Aside from graduating from Longwood in the mid-80s, all three have earned positions as superintendents with school systems in Virginia, but there’s more ...

They also earned master’s degrees at Virginia universities, doctoral degrees from Virginia Tech, and all are married to Longwood alumnae. In fact, Dan and Jim, who were roommates while at Longwood, served as the best man in each other’s weddings, and both graduated during the December 2006 commencement ceremony at Virginia Tech.

Dan is in his first year as superintendent of King and Queen County Public Schools. He previously served as assistant superintendent of Cumberland County Public Schools with Jim who was appointed superintendent at Cumberland in 2004. Dave is superintendent of Mathews County Public Schools where he has served since 2003.

They talk frequently on the phone but were able to catch up in person recently while on campus for an education job fair coordinated by the Career Development Center. Now instead of competing in the classroom, they find themselves competing for graduates of Longwood University.

"Longwood is the top place for candidates for teachers, said Dave. "I have never had any regrets about hiring a Longwood graduate." Dan agreed, adding, "Longwood does a great job of preparing teachers. They understand the curriculum, the SOLs, and they are ready to enter the classroom."

Another Longwood graduate, Roger Morris, ’90, M.Ed., will become superintendent of Patrick County Schools on July 1, 2007 succeeding Judy Thorpe Lacks, ’74, who is retiring. Other alumnae superintendents include Jane Massey Redd, ’64, superintendent of West Point Public Schools, and Pamela Martin McInnis, ’75, superintendent of Warren County Public Schools.