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Buford principal leaving for position with Albemarle school division
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Buford principal leaving for position with Albemarle school division

After two years leading Buford Middle School, Jesse Turner is returning to Albemarle County Public Schools to become its next director of student services, the division announced Thursday.

He’ll start the new job July 1. The Charlottesville City school division is planning to post the principal job vacancy Friday.

“Since Dr. Turner will be with us until the end of the school year, we have time to find the right person,” said Keith Hubbard, director of human resources for the city schools. “We wish Dr. Turner all the best at ACPS.”

As director of student services, Turner will oversee a range of programs that support student learning and the social and emotional wellness of students, as well as school security and emergency preparedness, according to a division news release.

That includes the implementation of a new model to replace school resource officers that will start in August and the expansion of the STEP program, which is an alternative to out-of-school suspension.

Turner, 50, started his teaching career in the city schools. He spent 13 years in the Albemarle school division, serving in various administrative roles, including principal of Monticello and Albemarle High schools.

“I remember the day I first hired Dr. Turner as a teaching assistant as he began his career in education,” said Debora Collins, the county division’s deputy superintendent, in a statement. “I was impressed then and am impressed today with his dedication to one principle above all others — it’s always all about the children.”

Nicholas King, the former director of student services, stepped down in January to become the chief academic officer for a North Carolina school system. King was the first to serve in the director role and helped to launch an anonymous reporting application, among other school safety and security initiatives.

Turner’s two-year tenure at Buford was disrupted by the pandemic. The school will open for in-person classes April 12 along with Charlottesville High School.

“Having grown up in Charlottesville, being able to return to the city had special meaning for me,” Turner said in a statement. “I am so proud of the Buford community, parents, staff and children for the progress we’ve made.”

The opportunity to serve children and families on an even broader scale in the county was hard to resist, he said.

“I became an educator because I deeply believe we have a collective responsibility to help our young people succeed,” he said. “That’s why I am in this profession. I know firsthand how high a priority this is for all the educators with Albemarle County Public Schools and I am excited about the great things we can do together.”

Turner’s salary for his new position could not be determined by press time.

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