HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) – Hampton City Schools has hired one of its own to become the division’s next superintendent.

The Hampton School Board unanimously approved Dr. Raymond Haynes to be Hampton City Schools’ new superintendent at its Wednesday meeting. The appointment takes effect July 1.

“We are immensely pleased with our appointment of Dr. Haynes,” said board chairman Dr. Richard Mason.

Haynes, part of Hampton City Schools’ leadership team since 2014, replaces Dr. Jeffery Smith, who is retiring after eight years as the division’s superintendent and more than 32 years in education.

Haynes most recently served as the division’s chief of secondary school leadership (2019-2023) and previously was its executive director of schools. The division said that as a part of his leadership, Hampton City Schools has posted the highest accreditation rate in seven years, with all schools being 100% accredited, and the division’s dropout rate has decreased from 14.1% in 2018 to less than 1% (0.62%) in 2022.

During Haynes’ tenure in the division, its community and business partners have increased from 80 to 413, while representing 16 industries, in support of Academies of Hampton.

“Throughout his professional career with Hampton City Schools, Dr. Haynes has consistently demonstrated an extraordinary ability to foster innovation, drive results and inspire others,” Mason said. “His strategic thinking has been instrumental in transforming our schools, enabling us to overcome challenges and achieve remarkable growth. Dr. Haynes’ steadfast leadership is what we need in a superintendent to continue our legacy of greatness in Hampton City Schools.

“We are pleased that Dr. Haynes has accepted the call to lead us into the next phase of growth, more specifically with the academies and our relationship with Ford NGL.”

Haynes began his career in education more than 28 years ago in Hampton City Schools, having been an educational enrichment specialist for K-12, an elementary school assistant principal and a principal at the elementary, PreK-8, middle and high school levels, and developed collaborative plans to build, open and staff Hampton’s new PreK-8 schools – Hunter B. Andrews and George P. Phenix – while also, at the same time, serving as interim director of alternative programs.

As the division’s executive director of schools and chief of secondary school leadership, he supervised principals’ instructional and organizational leadership at the elementary and secondary school level, and since 2019, led work around the Academies of Hampton. Under his direction, Haynes infused project-based learning into all of the division’s high schools.

“I am absolutely thrilled and honored to have been selected by the Hampton School Board as the new superintendent of schools,” Haynes said. “This opportunity holds a special place in my heart, as it allows me to continue to give back to the community where I was raised and educated. Being able to serve the students, parents, and educators of this city, where I grew up and received my education, fills me with immense pride and excitement.

“My goal is to build upon the strong foundation of excellence already in place, working collaboratively with the School Board, City Council, HCS staff, students, families and stakeholders as we continue our laser focus on student success. Together, we will create a brighter future for every child in our community, and I cannot wait to embark on this incredible journey with all stakeholders involved.”

He also has led a partnership between the division’s leadership cohort and Old Dominion University to develop future school and division leaders through a “grow your own” program.

“Dr. Raymond Haynes embodies what this school division needs as the next superintendent, and he is the right choice to carry the torch,” said Deputy Superintendent Dr. John Caggiano. “One hallmark of an effective leader, and someone who is ready to assume greater responsibility, is whether they demonstrate the ability to rise to the occasion when presented with increased responsibilities. When examining Dr. Haynes’ career to date in HCS, he has risen to the challenge and exceeded expectations with each new assignment. Dr. Haynes possesses the unique combination of personal qualities, knowledge, skills, and acumen needed to excel as the next superintendent of Hampton City Schools.”

Haynes has a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Christopher Newport University, a Master of Social Work from Norfolk State University, and his educational administration endorsement (PreK-12) from the University of Virginia.

He also earned his educational specialist endorsement and doctorate from Old Dominion University, where he received the outstanding doctoral student award.

He has a daughter who graduated from the inaugural 2021 class of theAcademies of Hampton.

The Virginia School Boards Association helped Hampton’s board with its superintendent search.