Fluvanna School Superintendent Chuck Winkler retiring

By Ruthann Carr

Fluvanna County Public School Superintendent Chuck Winkler said he planned to retire June 30.

Winkler made the announcement at the Board meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 7.

The Board appointed Winkler as superintendent on April 24, 2017. His contract is up in June 2021.

Winkler served as assistant superintendent under Gena Keller since Aug. 2011.

Before announcing his retirement, Winkler read a statement he wrote in support of the FCPS Antiracism and Equity Statement.

He said there was no doubt there are racial inequities in the schools and he thanked the task force for the hard work they put into crafting the statement.

“It’s a good start. I fully support this statement and will do everything I can to eliminate racism,” he said. “I realize this is a difficult job but we can do it. We must do it.”

At the start of the meeting several parents, student athletes and coaches made statements about the unfairness of singling out wrestling as the one winter sport that couldn’t be played.

Many of the athletes said they’d been training for weeks and were devastated when they heard that in the November Board meeting the Board questioned the safety of allowing wrestlers to compete.

Wrestler Shawn Metcalf said putting a stop to wrestling would be a “tragedy.”

Aiden Valentine, a sophomore wrestler, asked the Board to reconsider their decision.

“We just want to wrestle… (Not wrestling) will have a devastating effect..,” he said. “A wrestling match is only five minutes long. I have friends who have wrestled throughout the year and none of them have gotten COVID.”

Wrestler Austin Moore asked the Board to “give us a chance to show we can follow the guidelines.

Board member James Kelly (Palmyra) asked the Board to consider voting on the matter right away so the assembled students and parents could have an answer before they leave.

After a lengthy discussion, Andrew Pullen (Columbia) made a motion to allow wrestling to continue along with the other winter sports.

The motion passed 3-2. Pullen, Shirley Stewart (Rivanna) and Charles Rittenhouse (Cunningham) voted in favor.

Kelly and Perrie Johnson (Fork Union) voted against.

Kelly suggested since the positive cases of COVID-19 continue to rise throughout the United States and in Fluvanna, the first week back from winter break students should attend 100 percent virtual.

He made a motion to that affect.

A long discussion ensued.

In the end, the vote on the motion was 2-2. In a tie, the motion moves to the next meeting, which rendered it moot. Rittenhouse had left the meeting before the vote.

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