Drescher named as new schools superintendent

Greg Drescher, right, assistant superintendent for instruction with Warren County Public Schools, laughs with Superintendent Pamela McInnis Thursday following the announcement at a special meeting that he will succeed her as superintendent, effective July 1 after she retires this spring. Josette Keelor/Daily

FRONT ROYAL — Greg Drescher, assistant superintendent for instruction with Warren County Public Schools, was announced the district’s new superintendent at a special meeting Thursday evening.

The announcement of his promotion met with resounding applause from a packed room at the county government center, where many in attendance crowded along the back wall to hear the news.

Drescher will begin his term as superintendent on July 1 with a salary of $154,000. A resident of Warren County for 32 years, he joined the school system as a teacher in 1987 before becoming assistant principal at Ressie Jeffries Elementary School and later principal at Hilda J. Barbour Elementary School.

“I am deeply honored to serve the children and families of Warren County as the next superintendent of schools,” Drescher told the School Board.

The board’s decision followed a months-long search that Superintendent Pamela McInnis said greatly involved community input. Still, it proved a difficult process whittling down candidates to find the right one.

“I don’t think any of us knew how time-consuming and involved this would be,” she said.

Taking a leading role in the search was School Board member Joanne Cherefko, who said the board read through 15 thick applicant packets, complete with short-answer essay questions, in about two days before considering who to interview and ask back a second and third time.

Four applied from out of state, and 11 from Virginia, she said.

Drescher was chosen from three finalists. Only one met the board’s “exceedingly high standards,” Cherefko said.

That the application pool was so well qualified has made the outcome even better for the district’s Director of Professional Development Lisa Rudicille, who “could not be happier.”

“Honestly, no other choice to me would have made sense,” she said.

“The nervousness [of waiting] came from knowing it wasn’t just a given,” she said. “[It] makes us even prouder that Greg came out on top of that.”

Skyline High School eighth grade English teacher Jennifer Howells said she feels better about the next school year knowing who will be superintendent after McInnis leaves this spring.

“I think he’ll do some really great things,” Howells said.

It’s a big deal for teachers to feel supported by administrators, she said, and “I know he will do that.”

McGinnis, too, praised the board’s choice during a reception that followed the meeting.

“I’m very happy that this is the way the search turned out,” she said.

“Obviously Greg earned this position,” she said. “This is what I hoped would always happen, and he will do a wonderful job.”

Contact staff writer Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or jkeelor@nvdaily.com