Dr. Rodney L. Berry, an alumnus of the VCU School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership, has been named the new superintendent of Nottoway County Public Schools, effective July 1. A two-time graduate from VCU, Berry received his Ph.D. in educational leadership in 2011, and his bachelor’s degree in biology in 1995.
“I’m deeply excited and humbled to be appointed to this position,” Berry said. “It’s a huge step forward, being responsible for an entire school division, but I am prepared and ready for the challenge.”
Located southwest of Richmond and bordered by Dinwiddie and Amelia counties, Nottoway County includes the towns of Blackstone, Burkeville and Crewe, Va. Its school systems serve approximately 2,200 K-12 students throughout its six schools.
Setting the bar high for himself, Berry heads into the county with the ambitious goal of having all its schools reach full accreditation in the next academic year.
“It’s a rural school division, but I’ve worked in rural school divisions before,” he said. “I’m looking forward to bringing my wisdom and energy to the table. It just seemed like a great fit.”
Prior to his appointment at Nottoway County Public Schools, Berry served as the director of instruction at Sussex County Public Schools and as a principal in both Hopewell and Franklin City Schools. He also taught science in Richmond Public Schools (at George Wythe High School and Armstrong High School) for eight years, and served as an assistant principal at Henrico County’s Deep Run High School and at Caroline High School in Caroline County, Va.
Initially drawn to the field of education after participating in a mentorship program with Richmond Public Schools while at VCU, Berry credits the School of Education with helping prepare him for the challenges he’d face throughout his now 21-year career.
“It was a very enriching experience,” Berry said of his time at VCU. “The support structure there has been tremendous in my growth and development over the years. My professors there have served as mentors for me, and the school has produced so many good educators that it’s almost like a fraternity — we all communicate and reach back to help one another.”
Even as he takes on new responsibilities in Nottoway County, Berry, a VCU men’s basketball season ticket holder, plans to stay in touch with those at Oliver Hall.
“I know we’ll continue to support each other, and I’m excited to find new ways to work together,” he said. “I know when I see an applicant from VCU that they’ve received a quality education.”