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2021 Keynote Speakers


This year's conference will feature keynote speaker, Dr. Marceline Catlett, Superintendent of Fredericksburg City Public Schools and recent recipient of the first Women Education Leaders of Virginia (WELV) 2021 Region 3 Leader of the Year Award. This award is given to a woman leader in each of the eight superintendents’ regions. Each recipient has led with impact on student learning and has promoted with passion and actions the mission of WELV. Criteria for consideration included being recognized as a bold and effective leader by colleagues and those she serves; being results oriented; exhibiting admirable qualities of leadership and keeping what is best for children at the center of decisions and actions; exemplifying the spirit of WELV and sharing the inspiration of WELV with others in the region; and taking actions to create a strong WELV network for leaders.

Dr. Marceline CatlettDr. Catlett was born and raised in Fredericksburg, Virginia and was one of the first African–Americans to help integrate Fredericksburg’s schools in the 1960s when her mother enrolled her and her sister in Maury Elementary School before integration became the law of the land. She was class president when she graduated from James Monroe High School in 1977 and went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Virginia State University in 1981, a Master’s of Education Degree from the University of Virginia in 1986 and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Virginia Tech in 2017. She also has postgraduate certificates from Harvard University and the Virginia Association of School Business Officials.

Dr. Catlett began her career as a teacher and administrative assistant at Fredericksburg's Walker–Grant Middle School in 1981 before becoming an administrative assistant at Hugh Mercer Elementary School in 1994. She was promoted to Director of Instruction and Division Director of Testing in 1997, and served as Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Personnel in 2004. She became Deputy Superintendent in 2012, and the Fredericksburg School Board appointed her as Interim Superintendent in June 2019 following the retirement of former Superintendent David Melton. In November 2019, she was appointed the Superintendent of Fredericksburg City Public Schools by a unanimous vote by the Fredericksburg School Board.