The School Board of Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) has selected LaTanya D. McDade to lead the district as superintendent. McDade, an alumnus of the Chiefs for Change Future Chiefs leadership development program, has more than 20 years of experience in Chicago Public Schools (CPS), where she is currently chief education officer. PWCS, which is the second-largest district in Virginia, serves over 90,000 students. It is among the highest-ranked districts in the commonwealth and is considered a model in student achievement and fiscal leadership across the region. McDade is the first person of color and the first woman to lead the district.
“Prince William County Public Schools shares my fierce commitment to equity,” McDade said. “It is a district that is rightly proud of its schools but refuses to settle for anything less than a world-class education for every student. That’s the kind of community I want to be a part of and the kind of district my career has prepared me to lead. I am excited to engage deeply with the Prince William County students, staff, families, and community to realize our shared vision for advancing achievement for all students.”
McDade currently oversees all academic offices within CPS, supporting principals and network chiefs in their leadership roles while managing a $3.4 billion budget. She is responsible for improving and supporting all aspects of teaching and learning for more than 340,000 students, across 638 schools, to ensure equitable access to high-quality educational opportunities. During McDade’s tenure, CPS has increased graduation rates by 20 percent; decreased expulsions by 59 percent; and expanded high-quality academic programming to include Dual Language, World Language, and Advanced Placement classes. The district also boasts the largest International Baccalaureate program in the nation.
“It is impossible to overstate LaTanya’s impact on Chicago Public Schools,” said CPS CEO Janice Jackson, a member of the Chiefs for Change Board of Directors. “In her role overseeing the entire academic arm of our district, she demonstrates limitless energy, a relentless pursuit of excellence, and a deep understanding of instruction. Time and again, I have seen the ‘LaTanya Effect’—how she puts children at the center of every decision; how she inspires and motivates her colleagues; and how she collaborates with those in our community. Her departure will leave an irreplaceable void in CPS, but I wholeheartedly support her and know that she will make a tremendous difference for students in Prince William County.”
In October, PWCS was among the first districts in the Mid-Atlantic region to welcome students safely back to school in person with a largely hybrid approach. McDade will bring her experience managing CPS’s Covid response to Northern Virginia and lead PWCS during the next phase of reopening. As superintendent, she will also oversee the district’s implementation of an ambitious strategic plan to provide equitable access to advanced coursework, expand dual enrollment, and shrink achievement gaps for underrepresented groups.
“LaTanya is an exceptional educator and a respected leader,” said Chiefs for Change CEO Mike Magee. “Over her many years with Chicago Public Schools, she has been a tireless advocate for students. As Prince William County looks to build on past success and accelerate student progress, I can think of no leader who is better prepared.”
McDade is pursuing her doctorate in education at Lewis University and will graduate this spring. She holds a master’s in leadership and administration from Loyola University and a bachelor’s in elementary education from Chicago State University. To learn more about her, see this video.
McDade was a member of the fourth cohort of the Chiefs for Change Future Chiefs program. The program identifies talented, diverse emerging leaders and integrates them into a community of practice where they receive coaching and mentorship from members of Chiefs for Change and participate in a variety of other learning opportunities. For more information about the Future Chiefs program, click here.