Above & Beyond the Classroom: Louisa County Superintendent Doug Straley

LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — We continue our Above and Beyond the Classroom segment featuring outstanding teachers in the area. This time, we actually highlight a former teacher who has a huge new role in the school district he grew up in and spent his entire career in.

Doug Straley is the new superintendent for Louisa County Public Schools.

“This is an awesome community. I can tell you. It’s one of a kind,” Staley said.

His goal is to build personal relationships with all 4,900 students in his district.

“I like to be right there in the middle of the students,” he said. “I like to hear what they’re saying, I like to hear their conversations. So, essentially, getting to know them and building those relationships and building those relationships with the staff as well,” he said.

And students seem to enjoy the personal interaction.

“You don’t have many superintendents who walk around school like he does. I mean, we see him almost every day and he interacts with everyone which is really awesome,” said Louisa County High School senior John Reynolds.

Straley is a lifelong resident of Louisa. He went to school there and spent his entire teaching career there.

He taught for six years, including special education, health, physical education and middle school English. He eventually became an athletic director, a high school principal, an assistant superintendent, and now the district superintendent.

“I love Louisa,” he said. “This is my home and this is where my family has grown up and where I grew up, so it’s exciting to have returned here and to have given back to a community that has given me so much over the years.”

He also has six kids who all go to Louisa County Schools as well.

“I have a kindergartener and I have a senior and I have just about everything in-between,” Straley said.

Louisa County is a rural school district with four elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. It’s faced challenges including a devastating earthquake in 2011.

“We have recovered, we have rebuilt and now we’re moving forward and really focusing in on providing that world class forward-thinking education,” Straley said.

As Superintendent, he has brought on a new concept this year: #TeamLCPS

“We are a team. K-12 we are a team. Parents, you’re a part of this team. Students, you’re a part of this team. Community, you’re a part of this team. We’re all in this together,” he said.

So far it seems to be catching on.

“The student, teacher, administrator relationship is really close here,” senior John Reynolds said. “When we come to school here every day… it’s fun to come to school, it’s not a chore to come to school.”

And as a team, Straley hopes to guide this school district in the right direction.

“Providing that world-class education, which is pushing every student to reach their maximum potential,” he said.

Find 8News on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; send your news tips to iReport8@wric.com.