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Alumni Award Recipient Dr. Carol Smith Fenn ’79
Dr. Carol Smith Fenn ’79
2011 Distinguished Alumna Award Recipient
Dr. Carol S. Fenn is a native of the Shenandoah Valley and has spent her career in teaching and education leadership.
She is a 1979 graduate of Bridgewater College with a bachelor’s degree in education. She earned her master’s degree in reading at Virginia Commonwealth University and her doctorate in 2002 in education leadership and administration at the University of Virginia. She has 32 years of experience in Virginia school divisions in many capacities including teacher, reading specialist, elementary and middle school principal, and director of elementary education, technology, gifted programming, curriculum and development and preschool administration. Dr. Fenn has also served as a leader of principals in the assistant superintendent and acting superintendent capacities, and currently is division superintendent of Rockingham County Public Schools.
Prior to becoming division superintendent in July 2007, Dr. Fenn was acting superintendent of Shenandoah County Public Schools. She holds the national distinction of Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification and is proficient in key leadership of division directors and school principals at the elementary, middle and secondary levels. Her high performance strategies have resulted in strong instructional leadership for best student achievement. Dr. Fenn has experience in growth capacity planning within a community, school construction implementation, budget preparation and financial management of a school division.
During her career – including eight years as a principal and 14 years in central office leadership positions – Dr. Fenn proved to be proficient in implementing participatory leadership, collaborative decision-making and creating the high performance workplace. Most recently, she served the Rockingham-Harrisonburg United Way as campaign co-chair, raising $1.1 million.
“I believe all children should have the right and privilege of learning with a strong support system within the school community,” said Dr. Fenn. “I embrace employees as the greatest resource to achieve that critical goal and to make a difference.”
Dr. Fenn grew up on a dairy farm in Augusta County with her parents and three sisters. She and her husband, Mickey, have been married for 18 years and live in Bridgewater. They have two grown sons.