Southampton County School superintendent retiring at end of school year

Published 7:45 am Tuesday, November 15, 2011

COURTLAND—Charles Turner, superintendent of Southampton County Public Schools, announced his retirement during Monday’s School Board meeting.

The news came as no surprise to School Board member Roberta Naranjo.

“We knew that this was in the works,” Naranjo said. “He gave us two extra years. We were well aware of it. We accepted it with great regret.”

Turner two years ago told the board when he was reappointed that he was considering retirement.

“After 45 years of service, with the last 13 as superintendent, I am following up on the aforementioned plan and will retire at the end of the current school year, effective June 30, 2012.”

The school board on Monday appointed a committee to search for a new superintendent.

Naranjo referred to Turner, who was raised in Courtland, as a real achiever.

“We asked him if he would leave his shoes behind,” she said. “He’s very respected by our principals. They’ve worked well underneath him. Our schools are in excellent standing.”

Incoming Southampton County Supervisor Dr. Alan Edwards said he wasn’t surprised at Turner’s announcement.

“I don’t think he wanted to end up like the heavyweight boxer that stayed on for too many more fights and got injured,” Edwards said. “He planned this for some time and decided to gracefully bow out.”

Supervisor-elect Bruce Phillips thanked Turner for his years of service.

“We look forward to a new and closer relationship with the Board of Supervisors and the School Board,” Phillips said.

Turner told the board he has “thoroughly enjoyed the experience.”

“I could not have found a better situation anywhere,” he said. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Chairman (Russell) Schools for his dedicated and steady leadership over these years.”

“I would also like to thank you, the Southampton County School Board, for your support, commitment and concern for the education of the students in Southampton County Public Schools, the administrative team and principals who are second to none, the excellent teaching staff who continue to distinguish itself as outstanding educators, the support staff who plays a tremendous role in the overall success of Southampton County Schools, the incredible student body who makes us proud, the parents and the Southampton County community at large for their long standing support,” Turner added.

He noted that the county has schools it can be proud of, including their technology.

“It is very rewarding to see a pre-kindergartner being effective on the computer and to see our students and teachers using Smart Boards and other technology,” Turner said.

He also is proud of being part of Meherrin Elementary, which has been named a Federal Blue Ribbon School and Capron, Nottoway and Meherrin elementary schools for reaching the status of Virginia Index Performance Schools.

“Also on this evening, it is rewarding to be a part of a school system where all of the schools are fully state accredited and Southampton High School is in its 54 year of SACS Accreditation,” Turner said.

He noted that the 2011 Southampton High School graduating class received more than $3 million in scholarships. In addition, students have received 7,448 college credits hours over the past 10 years via the dual credit enrollment program through Paul D. Camp Community College.