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Beane takes team approach to leading Beach schools

BY REBECCA J. BARNABI

The acting superintendent of Colonial Beach schools says she’ll lean on existing staff to keep the system running smoothly until the superintendent position is filled.

Kathleen Beane, who was previously director of instruction for the town system, was tapped as acting superintendent after Donna Power resigned to take a similar post in northwestern Virginia earlier this month. Power initially planned to stay through late November, but the Colonial Beach School Board allowed her to leave sooner to begin the transition as superintendent in Page County.

Beane will be acting superintendent until Dec. 1, at which time she will become interim superintendent.

The current members of the School Board are waiting until after the Nov. 6 elections to decide how to proceed with the superintendent search. Three board seats are on the ballot.

“My approach to everything is a team approach,” said Beane, 60, who is married with four adult daughters. “I don’t have all the answers.”

Beane is no stranger to stepping into vacant positions to keep things running smoothly. She said her experience raising four girls taught her how to adjust to a leadership post quickly—putting people in the right places and resolving issues.

Beane has spent the past 13 years in the town system, serving as director of technology, in the human resources department and helping with licensure. She was acting principal of

Colonial Beach Elementary School last spring after the principal left.

Beane grew up in Richmond County, earned her bachelor’s degree in teaching from Longwood College and taught elementary school in Westmoreland County for 10 years before joining the town system.

Beane said she supports having the town’s school system remain independent from Westmoreland County’s school system. She said the staff and students develop closer relationships in a smaller system. She referred to the school’s staff as a family.

The town system has 630 students in its elementary, middle and high schools.

“We’ve got a really good thing here with our school division,” said Beane.

As for the future of her career in Colonial Beach, Beane said she is not sure what the new School Board will choose to do.

“I answer to a higher power,” she said. “He has a plan for me, and that’s what I follow.”

She said she has one focus as acting superintendent.

“It’s not about me. It’s about the students.”

Discussion has become necessary lately about building a new school since hurricane damage in 2011 to the middle school. Built in the early 1900s, the middle school was originally the only school in the town and housed all grades.

Now grades 6-8 are taught in modular units behind the high school. The two schools share a cafeteria, gymnasium and library.

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