The Woodbridge School District is comprised of four schools: Woodbridge Early Childhood Education Center, Phillis Wheatley Elementary School, Woodbridge Middle School, and Woodbridge High School. With several schools under its control, and hundreds of students, teachers, administrators, and other support staff, a position of leadership is required to assist in overseeing it all. That’s where Dr. Kevin Long comes in, the new superintendent of Woodbridge School District.
Long has been a Delaware resident all his life and is no stranger to the various schools in the area. Long was born and raised in the Felton area, went to elementary school at Lake Forest and graduated from Polytech.
He got a degree in education, switching from original plans of pursuing criminal justice. “I’ve always had role models throughout my career going through school, whether that be coaches or people that saw something in me and thought education would be a good pathway,” Long stated. “That’s what kind of drew me to it. When I graduated from Del State, I got into education at Polytech and coaching was one of those things too; I coached football, basketball, baseball, for a number of years and I do believe that the attributes of coaching go into classroom leadership and also into leadership as an administrator.”
Dr. Kevin Long
Long taught social studies at Polytech for seven years before moving on to become the administrator of the Freshmen Academy at Caesar Rodney. After his time at Caesar Rodney, Long became an assistant principal at Sussex Tech before coming to the Woodbridge School District as Director of Administrative Services.
From there Long became the assistant superintendent, before being named superintendent in the district. Long also spoke on his experience with these districts, stating that “This is my fourth district and they all have been great districts. The one thing that I can say about Woodbridge that sticks out to me is our family atmosphere. I feel like I found a home here, great people, a great community.”
Long also stated that the goal of the work in the district is to pursue what is best for the students. While many of these career changes occurred over the course of several years, Long spoke on the “quick but smooth” transition from assistant superintendent to superintendent.
Long started as Woodbridge’s assistant superintendent on Aug. 1 and became the superintendent in the middle of November due to the retirement of former superintendent Heath Chasanov. “I don’t feel like we’ve skipped a beat,” Long explained about this transition. “We have a very supportive staff that’s been great in each of our buildings. We have a tremendous teaching group in all of our buildings and we also have incredible administrators that have helped in every way.” Long also gave credit to the district administrators for providing help and taking on responsibilities in the current absence of an assistant superintendent, and mentioned how supportive the Board of Education for Woodbridge has been.
Long spoke on the responsibilities of his position, “We’re responsible for everything; from safety to making sure the fidelity of our curriculum is in each of our buildings, but more importantly we wouldn’t be where we are without our team. For us, our team, we look to ensure that the district continues to lead the way in providing opportunities for our students, and that doesn’t necessarily always mean college, but it means creating opportunities for our students to get into the workforce. As a superintendent, you’re involved in a lot of different things, but you can’t do it alone.”
When asked about the existence of any major challenges that have had to be addressed or overcome by himself and his team, Long stated that due to the past leadership and the quality of the system put in place, a solid pipeline of administrators has been established that has led to current, and hopefully, future success. Long also spoke on the future goals of the district over the course of the next few years.
Long stated that the district has a reputation for delivering high quality instruction for all of its students, and plans to continue to not only do that, but also provide opportunities for the students, be it college, workforce, military, etc. “On the other side of the house, we have some aging facilities that we are attending to and being good stewards about the taxpayers’ money to address needs and concerns,” Long mentioned, with the buildings in question being the older DuPont buildings at the middle school that have so far been maintained but will need work in the future.
Long placed an emphasis on the importance of opportunity for students of all ages in the school district. “We have a phenomenal program in our performing arts, our FFA, ROTC, we have really an exciting partnership with Del-Tech… our HVAC repair pathway that is starting this year,” Long said, stating “We do a lot for opportunity with our students, and we always continue to look at other avenues and pathways that would fit our students and our community.” Long expanded upon the upcoming HVAC pathway, mentioning that the partnership is being held with Del-Tech at the Woodbridge Middle School, and was the result of a study on current needs in the workforce. In addition to Woodbridge students, it’s planned for students from Laurel High School to be able to partake in the pathway as well. “This is year one,” Long explained, “we’re going to build that out to create a three-year pathway, of which the goal is for (students) to become certified and be able to directly seek employment in that needed labor field.”
Long finished by speaking about the future of the Woodbridge School District. Within the next five to 10 years, Long sees himself sticking with the district. “I hopefully see that we continue to provide high quality instruction to our students, going back to opportunities for our students, and I really hope that we build and continue the reputation of this district for providing students with what they need to go to college or the workforce,” Long stated. “Not every student is going to go to college, we understand that, but I want to make sure that Woodbridge is a place that students can come out of and they have the opportunity to be successful, whether that be in our community or in the regional or national area.”
Long closed out the interview by stating that it is both an honor and a privilege to be in his position and that the appreciation for teaching and administrative staff, and the support from the board, creates a family-like atmosphere that he wants to continue to foster and grow in the future.