Dr. Amy E. Cashwell has served as superintendent of Henrico County Public Schools since July 2018. She provides leadership and direction for Virginia’s sixth-largest school division, which has 72 schools and program centers, serving nearly 50,000 students. She is committed to maintaining Henrico’s legacy of excellence, working collaboratively to build upon the division’s reputation for academic innovation, and elevating issues of equity, diversity and cultural responsiveness.
Under Dr. Cashwell’s leadership, and following her very successful introduction and action plan for Henrico County, known as Amy’s Passport, the school division has embarked upon a comprehensive strategic plan, “Destination 2025: A Plan for HCPS,” reviewed annually to gauge progress and make revisions accordingly. She has also formed collaborative relationships with all constituencies through advisory groups with students, teachers, principals and support staff, and meets regularly with the Henrico Education Association and Council of PTAs.
She currently chairs the Superintendents Steering Committee for CodeRVA and serves on several boards including national EdLeader 21, Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond and the Richmond Heart Association. She is also an active member of the Virginia Association of School Superintendents member, participating in annual meetings and professional learning offerings. She has also been a featured presenter and speaker at local, regional and state events.
Dr. Cashwell had the huge challenge of successfully leading the school division through the pandemic just 20 months into her tenure, from remote learning to a hybrid environment, back to in-person, face-to-face learning for the 2021-22 school year. Despite those interruptions, she still led the completion of replacement high schools for J.R. Tucker and Highland Springs; an enlarged Elizabeth Holladay Elementary School; and a new telehealth clinic at Glen Lea Elementary School.
She has led the division’s adoption of a new “Career Ladder,” the first of its kind for Virginia schools, offering personalized opportunities for teachers and support staff to advance professionally without leaving the classroom. She has also prioritized teacher and staff pay, working in concert with the school board, county supervisors and legislators to support increased compensation. That effort has resulted in raises and bonuses, increased days off, and minimal increases in health insurance premiums for teachers and staff.
In addition, HCPS has garnered numerous awards and accomplishments under her leadership, including multiple Virginia school counselors of the year, national leadership recognition in music education, Scholastic Art & Writing Award winners, REB Distinguished Educational Leadership awardees, recognition for a number of innovative grants and programs, and dozens of additional national board certified teachers. The division has also become nationally renowned for its Career and Technical Letter-of-Intent Signing Day. HCPS also continues to produce high school state champions in team and individual competitions.
Dr. Cashwell continues to lead HCPS through the recovery of the pandemic and address the resulting learning gaps through initiatives such as the division’s comprehensive literacy plan, along with math and reading coaches, which are key to student progress and the narrowing of these gaps. By maintaining Henrico’s incredibly high student standards, guiding initiatives like the Henrico Learner Profile help students strive for academic excellence and foster critical life-ready skills to last beyond the K-12 classroom experience.
While her goal of increasing student achievement, innovation and personalized, student-centered learning are not new for Henrico Schools; they are the very heart of her ongoing work in service to students. As a result, under her leadership, HCPS graduation rates are up, the scholarship monies earned by students have increased, and the number of industry certifications opportunities available to HCPS students continues to grow.
A longtime educator, Cashwell earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and education at Longwood University before earning a master’s degree in education administration and supervision and a doctorate in education administration and policy studies from George Washington University. Her distinguished career began as a teacher for Virginia Beach City Schools in 1998 before becoming an assistant principal and then principal. She ultimately became the division’s chief academic officer in 2013 until coming to HCPS.