‘It has been a privilege’: Virginia Gills announces retirement plans

Published 4:57 pm Wednesday, March 27, 2024

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It’s almost time to say goodbye. That was the message delivered on Wednesday, March 27, as Virginia Gills announced her retirement. As of June 30, Gills will retire from Cumberland County Public Schools, where she has led Cumberland County Elementary and become a beloved sight to all the children who walk through those doors. 

“It has been a privilege to serve Cumberland County Public Schools,” Gills said in a statement. “To have worked with great students and to have led an awesome team who have now become family has truly been an honor. Cumberland County Elementary School has touched my life profoundly. I will carry with me a heart full of gratitude and a deep sense of pride to have been a part of the CCES family.”

School district staff were quick to point out the large number of accomplishments Gills has achieved through her time at Cumberland Elementary. She’s been instrumental in cultivating a positive culture throughout the building, in the recruitment and retention of team members, advocating for professional learning, streamlining processes, promoting personal growth of others, and more in a list that just keeps going. The one key takeaway we have heard for years is that her commitment and dedication have long since earned her the respect and admiration of colleagues, clients, and stakeholders alike.

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“Mrs. Gills has been an invaluable asset to our organization,” said Cumberland County Schools Superintendent Chip Jones.  “Her professionalism, dedication, and positive attitude have inspired us all, not only at the local level, but across the Commonwealth and country as well.  We are incredibly grateful for her contributions and wish her all the best in her well-deserved retirement.”

Virginia Gills leaves big shoes to fill

Just to highlight a few of the many things Gills accomplished while at Cumberland, she’s been recognized as the 2019 VASCD Impact Award recipient, 2022 VAASL Administrator of the Year, 2023 WELV Rising Star, Virginia Elementary School Principal Board, Longwood University CEHS Board, served as the Cumberland County representative for the Southside Virginia Community Board Local Board, and an active member of Delta Kappa Gamma.

“As Mrs. Gills embarks on this new chapter in her life, she leaves behind a void that will be difficult to fill,” Jones added. “Her presence will be sorely missed, but her impact will continue to resonate within the elementary school.”

Jones, speaking on behalf of Cumberland County Public Schools, extended heartfelt gratitude to Mrs. Gills for her years of service, leadership, and dedication. He noted that her contributions have helped shape the organization into what it is today, and her legacy will endure for years to come. He added, “As we like to say, ‘once a Duke, always a Duke.’”