Kathy Edwards to Retire as President and CEO of An Achievable Dream

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Dr. Lee Vreeland, Organization’s Vice President of Academics and COO, will succeed Edwards at helm of Education Non-Profit Starting in July 2019

Kathy Edwards will retire, effective June 2019, as President and Chief Executive Officer of An Achievable Dream, a 25-year-old non-profit that serves nearly 2,000 children in the communities of Newport News, Virginia Beach and Henrico County.

Edwards, who joined An Achievable Dream in 2000 as its Communications and Development Director, became President and CEO in 2013 when Aubrey Layne was named Virginia’s Secretary of Transportation. Layne succeeded the late Walter S. Segaloff, who founded An Achievable Dream in 1992, bringing together a coalition of partners – including public school districts, city leaders, the military, law enforcement, and the business and political communities – to establish an elementary school in Newport News focused on providing a social, academic and moral curriculum and helping graduates earn entry into colleges, trades or the military. An Achievable Dream subsequently expanded into a middle and high school in Newport News and then into elementary programs in Virginia Beach and Henrico County.

Edwards announced her intention to the organization’s four boards of directors, saying she wished to retire after a 34-year career, which included prior leadership positions in development and communications at Hampton University and Christopher Newport University. “I am not leaving for another job,” she wrote in a letter to stakeholders. “Indeed I cannot imagine there is one more fulfilling than leading An Achievable Dream. I will, however, be able to spend more time with my family, travel a bit and pursue some activities that have been on my personal back burner.”

Edwards recommended that Dr. Lee Vreeland, who has been with An Achievable Dream since 1997 and is today its Vice President of Academics and Chief Operating Officer, become the next President and CEO. The boards of directors unanimously approved that suggestion. “It has been an honor to work with the students, families, partners, and sponsors of An Achievable Dream for more than 20 years,” says Vreeland. “I am very excited to take on this new role and continue the great work at An Achievable Dream.”

Edwards guided An Achievable Dream’s expansion to Virginia Beach in 2014 where it established a program in partnership with Virginia Beach City Public Schools at Seatack Elementary. A middle school will follow in fall 2018 and additional grades will be added as students progress. In 2017, Henrico County reached out to An Achievable Dream to start an elementary school in the Highland Springs community. “We all should be proud of what we have accomplished together on behalf of thousands of children in our region and state,” wrote Edwards.

In a statement by An Achievable Dream’s four board chairs, Tim Dykstra, Frances Luter, Mary Hughes and Brian Skinner, they said, “Kathy will be sorely missed, but we are so thankful that she will be with us through one more school year and has mentored Lee to follow her as our leader. We know that Walter Segaloff would be very proud of all that Kathy and Lee have done to keep his vision alive.”

“Please know that An Achievable Dream will have my full attention for the next year and a half and will remain in my heart for the rest of my life,” Edwards stated.

About An Achievable Dream:
An Achievable Dream is a nationally-recognized educational nonprofit dedicated to the belief that all children can learn and succeed. Operating schools in partnership with Newport News Public Schools and Virginia Beach City Public Schools, and AAD Certified Academy in Henrico County near Richmond, Virginia, An Achievable Dream offers children in kindergarten through twelfth grade quality social, academic and value-based education, enrichment activities inside and outside the classroom, and assistance with higher education.

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Julie Cruit Angilly
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