Superintendent's Update

Superintendent's Update
Posted on 01/14/2022
Letter image from the Superintendent

January 14, 2022

Greetings NCPS Students, Families, and Staff:

Happy New Year to you and your family! We hope you enjoyed the Winter Break and stayed safe during last week’s snow and ice.

Happy Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday! 

NCPS is closed on Monday, January 17, 2022, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. 

Virginia School Principal Appreciation Week

January 8-14 is Virginia School Principal Appreciation Week. This week, we give principals our thanks for stepping up in so many ways over the past two years and for their commitment to our students, staff members, and parents. Be sure to say “thank you” to your child’s principal! Thank you to our principals and assistant principals for leading in each of our schools.





NES Principal Mrs. Martha Williams

Mrs. Martha Williams is a native of Northumberland County. She graduated from Mary Washington College in 1994 with a degree in American Studies and Elementary Education. Several years later, she attended Grand Canyon University to earn a Master’s Degree in Administration. As a first year principal, Mrs. Williams brings 27 years of elementary classroom experience. Mrs. Williams stated, “My goal throughout my entire career has always been to educate all children regardless of their ethnic, economic or religious backgrounds. I’ve always believed that the greatest privilege of being an educator is to meet children at their strengths and guide them to use those strengths to grow and learn in new ways.”


As principal, Mrs. Williams enjoys working with both the students and supporting a passionate staff who is committed to ensuring every child learns. Mrs.Williams stated, “There is nothing more exciting or humbling than knowing that you are leading a staff who has the same relational and educational goals that you do.   It is my prayer every day that I will do everything in my power to reach both students and staff academically as well as emotionally. I’ve learned that the journey as an administrator is not smooth, but if you choose to look for the bright spots, they will make even the challenges seem more manageable.  For me, I find those bright spots in the faces and energy our students and staff bring to NES every day.”

NES Assistant Principal Mr. Lance Reynolds

Mr. Lance Reynolds earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education from Virginia Tech and a Master’s Degree in Administration and Supervision from VCU.  He began teaching physical education at Northumberland Middle School in 1994.  During his 28 years in Northumberland County Public Schools, Mr. Reynolds also taught Physical Education at the high school and served as Assistant Principal at NHS before becoming the elementary Assistant Principal five years ago. 

Mr. Reynolds stated, “I believe an integral part of being an administrator is building strong positive relationships with staff, students, parents and community members and working together towards the success of all students.  I want all students to have a wonderful experience at school, and I enjoy watching them learn and grow to reach their ultimate potential.”

NMS Principal Mr. Patrick Simmons

Mr. Simmons is a native of the Northern Neck. He graduated from Longwood College in 2001 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Liberal Studies and Elementary Education. In 2007, Mr. Simmons completed a Master’s of Science in Science Education from Montana State University, Bozeman.  In 2008, he earned a Post-Master’s certificate in Educational Leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University.  Currently, Mr. Simmons is a Leadership Doctoral Student at VCU’s School of Education.  In addition to his educational credentials, Mr. Simmons is a Nationally Registered Paramedic and a Virginia EMS Educational Coordinator. He currently serves as a member of both the Mid-County and Colonial Beach Volunteer Rescue Squads. 


Prior to becoming a school administrator, Mr. Simmons served 16 years as an elementary and middle school science teacher. Mr. Simmons stated, “I truly enjoy fostering an environment where all children are excited to learn, and there is nothing more fulfilling than watching students learning and engaging with their teachers and each other.  My goal as principal is to help all students reach their potential through individual educational experiences and meaningful relationships with their teachers and school staff to build positive academic and social outcomes. I stand behind each of my students and staff with encouragement and support in their endeavors and am genuinely grateful to be a part of the Northumberland County School family.” 



NMS Assistant Principal Mrs. Dawn Conley Taylor

Mrs. Dawn Conley-Taylor is a native of Northumberland County. She has an undergraduate degree from Mary Washington University, Fredericksburg, VA, and has two Masters’ degrees from Averett University, Danville, VA. Mrs. Taylor has been an educator in Northumberland for over 25 years. She enjoys the enthusiasm and the energy that is throughout NMS.


Mrs. Taylor always has enjoyed working with children and watching them develop their talents and skills that characterize their paths in life. She likes helping students navigate through the changes that occur as they transition from middle to high school.


Mrs. Taylor enjoys reading, singing, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends and her church family.  She enjoys the great outdoors and camping every chance she can get.  Mrs. Taylor said, “We stay busy traveling. This includes her husband, Jamerson, and her spoiled dog, Kody.”


Mrs. Taylor’s motto is “Each One Teach On”.  She believes if we take the time to just teach or share what we know to one child or person we can be part of  someone’s success.


NHS Principal Dr. Travis Burns

Dr. Travis Burns is in his 9th year as principal of Northumberland High School (NHS).  He is a past-president of the Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals (VASSP) and continues to serve as a member of its executive board.  Dr. Burns is also a member of the Virginia Foundation of Educational Leadership (VFEL) faculty.  VFEL provides professional development in particular coaching and mentorship services to practicing school leaders across the Commonwealth.  Dr. Burns is completing his second term as a member of the Virginia Advisory Board on Teacher Education abd Licensure (ABTEL).  In his spare time, Dr. Burns enjoys metal detecting and walking his dogs Onyx, Bella, and Ringo.  Dr. Burns' current professional interests are in school climate and effective grading practices.  

NHS Assistant Principal Mrs. Martha Hicks

Mrs. Martha Hicks’ professional career started in 1975 in Amelia County Public Schools as a fifth grade reading teacher. In August of 1975, Mrs. Hicks taught seventh grade science at Essex Intermediate School.


After 13 years in education, in 1988, she pursued her Master's Degree in Counseling at VCU.  During the master's program, Mrs. Hicks completed a counseling internship at Middlesex High School and Maggie Walker Middle School. 


Mrs. Hicks received her first counseling position at Washington District Elementary School as the first counselor of the new school building for one year and then transitioned to AT Johnson Middle School and Washington & Lee High School as the counselor for grades 8-10. 

Mrs. Hicks later landed at Northumberland County Public Schools as the middle school counselor where she also provided school counseling to students in the alternative education program until becoming the transition coordinator, and then later became the Assistant Principal at Northumberland High School in 2006.  In 2010, Mrs. Hicks became the NCPS Truancy Officer until 2015 when Mrs. Hicks retired. In 2018, Mrs. Hicks returned from retirement as the Assistant Principal of Northumberland High School.




Your Feedback on the Strategic Plan Is Needed!

Northumberland County Public Schools is seeking public comment on the 2022-2028 Strategic Plan. Click the image below to access both the plan and survey. Thank you for providing your valuable feedback.

REMINDER!!! COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic for Ages 5-11 at the Northumberland Health Department, 6373 Northumberland Highway, Heathsville, VA 22473.  Please call the Health Department for more information at (804) 580-3731. This clinic will be for the 5-11 year old age group only. All minors MUST be accompanied by an adult (age 18 and older). If a parent/guardian does not come with the minor they MUST send a copy of the signed registration form with the child. Any child arriving at the clinic without an adult or proper forms will be turned away. Click the link below to access all the Forms.

Health & Pandemic Impact Update:

Please be reminded of the school division’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard, which is located on our website

The purpose of the dashboard is to keep you informed with accurate and transparent information regarding the Covid-19 impact on our school community. The dashboard is updated daily with any Coronavirus data, including the number of any positive cases and the number of individuals in quarantine. 

Our Covid-19 dashboard also contains helpful information for families from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) including 

Please know any vaccinated student and/or staff member has the option of providing a copy of his/her vaccination card to the school nurse. At NES, our school nurse is Mrs. Susan O’Bier ([email protected]), and at NMS & NHS, our school nurse is Mrs. Lori Rice ([email protected]). Our school nurses are working extremely hard during this difficult time, and we appreciate them very much!

NCPS continues to follow the NCPS Health and Safety in NCPS Schools: Layered Prevention Strategies

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns. 


Dr. Holly Wargo, Superintendent

Northumberland County Public Schools

Cells: (804) 994-1349 / (804) 466-2277

[email protected]


 Superintendent Message Archive Here is a link 
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