The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

    A Day in the Life of the Superintendent

    Theogony Follows Dr. Hutchings Through a Typical Work Day

    Emily Townsend and Rain Camerlinck

    We planned on meeting with Superintendent, Dr. Gregory Hutchings, at 9:30AM at Central Office near George Washington Middle School. The day started off with a closed meeting between the Board Chair, Vice Board Chair and the clerks of the School Board. This meeting occurs every Tuesday morning, so Hutchings can cover the Board agenda and work sessions of the school staff.

    Dr. Hutchings smiles for a photo in his office.

    Next, he had an interview for an online publication with reporter James Williamson about a possible new chief of staff, his longtime colleague and friend Steve Wilkins.

    “[The thing I] love most about my job is [that] it is unpredictable,” said Hutchings. “Anything can happen with 16,000 students and 3,000 staff.” 

    Hutchings has fairly strict personal rules he tries to obey while he is working. He tries not to send out staff emails after 8 pm nor send emails on weekends unless they need to be seen before the school week begins. “[I want] a work life balance, so staff do not feel obligated or on call,” said Hutchings.

    Hutchings’ job however extends beyond his office. Just the other day, he was taking his son to the barber shop for a haircut and while he was there, he spoke to a few ACPS students. The students and Dr. Hutchings began to chat about school. He enjoys getting feedback about the ACPS schools from the students themselves.  “[I] want to hear how your lives are impacted by our decisions,” said Hutchings.

    Hutchings tries his best to keep his family and work separate. He has two kids that both go to school within ACPS, but does not want his kids to feel like people are sensitive around them because he is the Superindendent of ACPS. “[I] do not expect them to be perfect, so [I] do not want others to either.” 

    The superintendent spends a long day at the office. The hours of his work days vary daily. Since he lives right down the street from the Central Office, he goes home during certain parts of the day to spend time with his kids. Often, he picks them up and drops them off for sports. He feels it is really important that his kids do not think he is spending more time with the ACPS students than them. 

    Huthcings said that establishing a culture within the school system is exciting and loves the unpredictability of the job. He has many things to keep track of and ten people reporting back to him from ten different departments. “Things just happen which take me off , but I always manage to get back on schedule,” said Hutchings.

    Hutchings went to college to become a doctor ER specialist, but ended up getting a Doctorate in Education and Policy Planning from the college of William and Mary.

    Before getting the job as the superintendent of ACPS, he applied to be T.C. Williams’ principal. He did not get this job. Hutchings was instead offered the position of Alexandria’s Director of Middle Schools. Between 2013-2018, he was a superintendent of schools in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio known as Shaker Heights. After ACPS went through a national search for a superintendent, Hutchings was given the job. 

    Dr. Hutchings has meeting with Hammond teachers and staff in the Hammond Library.

    Later in the day, we drove to Hammond with Hutchings where we observed  another meeting that Hutchings had. It was open to all Hammond teachers and staff. The meeting did not have a strict structure but was a time for Hammond staff to ask Hutchings questions and get to know him better. In meetings, Hutchings likes to let the people he is meeting with to guide the discussions. He wants the people he is meeting with to feel free to talk about whatever comes to mind. He calls this “chat and choose.”

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    A Day in the Life of the Superintendent