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Sroufe named Patrick superintendent
Dr. William Sroufe
Friday, May 30, 2014
By BEN R. WILLIAMS - Bulletin Staff Writer
Dr. William Sroufe has been named the new superintendent of Patrick County Schools, effective July 1.
In a special Patrick County School Board meeting on Thursday, the board voted unanimously to appoint Sroufe, 45, who has served as interim superintendent of the school system since February.
Sroufe said that he had been hopeful he would receive the position, and the school board approached him about contract negotiations roughly two weeks ago.
“I’m excited,” he said. “I think that we have a lot of great things to look forward to in Patrick County. ... I always tell people I’m in the business of kids, and that’s the business I want to be in.”
Sroufe said his goal is to renew the school system’s focus on instruction.
In a May interview with the Martinsville Bulletin, he said when he joined the school system in 2006, the high school was in the top 100 in U.S. News and World Report.
“We need to get back to what Patrick County is known for,” he said. “It’s known for a great educational system.”
Specifically, he said he wanted to see more focus on STEM programs — science, technology, engineering and math — along with a renewed focus on career and technical education (CTE) programs, such as carpentry and welding.
CTE programs can give young people training and experience they need to find quality jobs if they choose not to continue their formal education, Sroufe said.
He also stated that one of his biggest goals was to change the public perception of Patrick County Schools.
“One of the things that we need to do is get the positive part out there instead of the negative,” he said. “The negative was out there too long. It’s not about me. I may be the leader of the district, but it’s not about me. It’s really about what we’re doing in the buildings and what our students are doing and what they’re accomplishing.”
Sroufe succeeds Roger Morris as school superintendent. In his last two years in that job, Morris and the school board came under fire following changes to a retired teachers’ incentive program that prompted a State Department of Education probe into alleged irregularities in testing, diploma administration, communication and personnel matters, according to previous Bulletin articles.
A Virginia Beach native, Sroufe has been working in the Patrick County School System since 2006. In that time, he has served as the principal of both Meadows of Dan Elementary School and Woolwine Elementary School. He has also worked within the school system’s human resources department.
He has a bachelor of science and interdisciplinary studies and master of science in education from Old Dominion University; an administrative endorsement from Radford University; and education specialist and doctor of education degrees from Liberty University.
He also served in the Air Force from 1991 to 1995.
Sroufe and his wife, Maureen Sroufe, have three children: daughter Emma Sroufe, 14, and sons Mitchell Sroufe, 11, and Benjamin “Wolfie” Sroufe, 8.