A Message from the School Board
Posted on 06/22/2020
RCPS logoJune 22, 2020


Dear RCPS Community:

As you are aware, Dr. Rita Bishop will retire on June 30 after 23 years of dedicated service and extraordinary commitment to Roanoke City Public Schools. She leaves a legacy of improvement, innovation, and achievement that will rightfully live on in the children whose lives she has touched. In accordance with Marian Wright Edelman’s (founder and president emerita of the Children’s Defense Fund) statement that service is the rent we pay for being, Dr. Bishop’s rent has definitely been paid in full through her remarkable service to RCPS. She leaves with our best wishes and deepest gratitude.

As Ms. Verletta White assumes the role of Superintendent of Roanoke City Public Schools on July 1, 2020, we close one chapter of RCPS history and embark on a new one. Bringing with her 28 years of experience in public education, Superintendent White joins RCPS having most recently served as interim superintendent for Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS), the 25th largest school system in the nation. We are thrilled to have Superintendent White’s expertise in literacy, equity, and urban education, with her professional commitment to providing rigorous academic opportunities for all students.  She also puts tremendous emphasis on ensuring that schools provide children positive, safe, and healthy school climates, which Superintendent White believes are essential to effective teaching and learning in every classroom.

Beginning her teaching career in 1992, as an elementary school teacher in Baltimore City, Superintendent White transferred to a teaching position in Baltimore County Public Schools in 1995.  Quickly moving through the ranks, she served BCPS as chief academic officer, assistant superintendent for elementary schools, area assistant superintendent for the Northeast Area, and executive director of professional development prior to the interim superintendent and consultant to superintendent roles. A BCPS school board member describes Superintendent White as an “example to staff and students, always demonstrating her love and commitment to children and those who make excellence happen for them.” In our short time with Superintendent White, we have witnessed the truth of this statement in her work with the Transition & Restoration Task Force and others during her transition to her new role.

When asked about her leadership philosophy, Superintendent White says, “It is imperative for me to hear from all stakeholders, parents, teachers, administrators, students, community members, elected officials, business, and higher education partners, etc.… [so] I can make better and more thoughtful decisions.” True to her commitment to being visible and approachable, Superintendent White will host Meet and Greets at several schools during her first week on the job. The schedule will be located on the RCPS website. 

We are excited about this new era and opportunities to come for our Division under our new Superintendent’s leadership. Please join us in welcoming Superintendent Verletta White to Roanoke City Public Schools.

With our sincere thanks,


Mark K. Cathey, Chairman
Lutheria H. Smith, Vice Chair
William B. Hopkins, Jr.
Dr. Elizabeth C.S. Jamison
Laura Day Rottenborn
Joyce W. Watkins
Dick Willis







40 Douglass Avenue NW, Roanoke, VA24012 Phone 540-853-2502