APS News Release

School Board Appoints New APS Chief Operating Officer

Chief Operation Officer Dr. John Mayo
Dr. John Mayo

The COO is Part of New Leadership Structure Taking Effect July 1

The School Board appointed Dr. John Mayo as the first Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Arlington Public Schools at its July 1 organizational meeting. Dr. Mayo currently serves as a Deputy Superintendent for Petersburg City Public Schools in Petersburg, VA.

The COO is a new position that is part of the Superintendent’s reorganization, designed to strengthen operations and provide schools, students, teachers and staff with the needed supports and resources.

“As the deputy superintendent, Dr. Mayo has been instrumental in driving organizational change to serve students, staff and schools within his current school division,” said Superintendent Dr. Francisco Durán. He continued, “Dr. Mayo is an accomplished educator and administrator with demonstrated success in multiple priority areas that will benefit APS and help further strengthen our operations moving forward.”

Mayo has been an educator for over 22 years serving as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent, chief of human resources and deputy superintendent in several school districts within the Commonwealth of Virginia and Maryland. As the current Deputy Superintendent for Petersburg City Public Schools, he is responsible for providing administrative and strategic support to the departments of finance; human resources; school facilities and maintenance; safety and security; and technology.

Since returning to the Petersburg Schools in 2019, Mayo has worked to update standard operating procedures for various departments; increased teacher retention by double digits; worked to increase hourly rates of pay for non-instructional support staff over a two-year period; enhanced technology access to students through devices, learning management system, and hotspots; and partnered with city officials to develop an aggressive capital improvement plan for the aging infrastructure within the school division.

Prior to returning to Virginia, Mayo served as the chief human resources officer for Baltimore County Public Schools where he was responsible for the recruitment, hiring, development, and retention of over 20,000 employees.

Mayo has served as assistant superintendent of middle schools in Baltimore County where he planned the creation of a health science magnet middle school and worked to transform 27 middle schools by focusing on three pillars: transitional programs, academics and extracurricular activities. Prior to working in Maryland, Mayo served in various educational capacities for Petersburg City Public Schools as assistant superintendent, as well as at Henrico County Public Schools as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal; and Goochland County Public Schools as principal.

Mayo received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Virginia Union University and a Master of Education degree in administration and supervision from Virginia Commonwealth University. He earned a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from Virginia Polytechnic and Institute State University.

His appointment begins July 30.

The School Board also appointed Ms. Endia Holmes as Executive Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer. Ms. Holmes has worked in APS for 20 years, serving in a variety of administrative and office management positions. She will transition from her current role in the Department of Finance and Management Services to take on this new role on July 2.

Superintendent's Cabinet
From left to right: Brian Stockton, Catherine Ashby, Bridget Loft, Dr. Francisco Durán, Dr. John Mayo, Kim Graves and Dr. Arron Gregory

New APS Organizational Structure
Beginning July 1, there will be a new organizational structure within APS that is designed to optimize service delivery and provide schools, students, teachers and staff with needed supports and resources.

The Superintendent has reorganized his Executive Leadership Team and created a Cabinet consisting of the following leaders who will report directly to the Superintendent:

  • John Mayo, Chief Operating Officer
  • Bridget Loft, Chief Academic Officer (Formerly Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning)
  • Brian Stockton, Chief of Staff
  • Arron Gregory, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer
  • Kimberley Graves, Chief of School Support
  • Catherine Ashby, Assistant Superintendent for School and Community Relations

The new COO will oversee the departments of Human Resources, Finance, Information Services, Safety, Security, Risk and Emergency Management, and Facilities and Operations. The newly created Chief of School Support Office will oversee both school principals and Administrative Services, as well as Student Services, Early Childhood/Elementary Education, and Secondary Education, which were previously part of the Department of Teaching and Learning. Professional Learning will transition from the Department of Teaching and Learning to Human Resources as part of the emphasis on providing professional learning opportunities for all staff.

A new organizational chart is available online.