, 2015

Superintendent finalists
to participate in forum

by Audrey Thomasson

KILMARNOCK—Two final candidates for superintendent of Lancaster schools will meet the public and answer questions in a forum at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 1, at the Lancaster Middle School Theater, 191 School Street, Kilmarnock.

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The candidates are Jack McKinley, EdS, a principal at Belle Heth Elementary School in Radford and Steven Parker, a principal at Cedar Lee Middle School in Bealeton.


McKinley is a graduate of Brigham Young University with a degree in Spanish. He received his teaching certification in Spanish, English and English as a second language from California State University in San Marcos, a master’s in educational leadership from Radford University, and educational specialist degree from Liberty University.

McKinley has an administration and supervision license in PreK-12 for Spanish, English and English as second language. He will complete his doctorate degree at Liberty University in August.

He has served as an elementary school principal for nine years, high school assistant principal for one year, director of career and technical education for one year, and taught Spanish, English and English as a second language for five years.

The McKinleys have three boys and a daughter, ages one to 15. During the interview process, he and his family stayed in the area for a few days and said they felt an immediate connection. “We’re excited about the prospect,” he said.


Parker is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy with a bachelor’s in national security/public affairs. He has a master’s in business administration from Florida Tech and a master’s in educational leadership from George Mason University where he is currently working on his doctorate in education.

After retiring from the army in 1994, Parker began teaching as a long-term special education substitute, going on to teach middle school math and world history for five years before becoming a high school assistant principal. He returned to the middle school level for two years as assistant principal and is in his ninth year as the principal at Cedar Lee Middle School.

Parker was named Outstanding Middle School Principal for 2013 by the Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals and was named the 2013 Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leadership Award recipient for Fauquier County.

Parker is the father of five children, ages 14 to 26, and is a former high school football coach whose Culpepper County High School team won the 1999 state championship. He continues to coach youth wrestling, baseball, football and softball.

His family has made many visits to the area to visit his in-laws, the late David and Barbara Mathews of White Stone. The family stayed in Lancaster Easter weekend and walked around the community speaking with citizens about the school system, he said.

Public forum

The forum is a sanctioned event of the Lancaster school board and is being held to elicit public input in the selection process.

“Separately, each candidate will address the forum and respond to questions,” said Bill Chapman, forum organizer and head of Lancaster Citizens for Education (LCFE), which is hosting the event for the school board.

“Community participants will be given the opportunity to evaluate the candidates and this feedback will be collected and shared with the school board,” said Chapman. “Community feedback will be a valuable resource as the school board makes its final selection, but not the sole deciding factor.”

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