Our Superintendent

Phone: 540-562-3700


Degrees and Certifications:

Dr. Ken Nicely

Dr. Ken Nicely first joined Roanoke County Public Schools in 1993 as a Spanish teacher at Cave Spring High School.  In 2002, he was named an assistant principal at Hidden Valley Middle School and became principal at HVMS in 2006.  Dr. Nicely moved to central office in 2012 as the Director of Secondary Instruction & Technology and became the Director of Administration in 2016. In Spring 2018, Dr. Nicely became Assistant Superintendent of Administration and then, on August 9, 2018, the School Board named Dr. Nicely as superintendent following the retirement of his predecessor. 

Dr. Nicely holds a Bachelor’s degree from the College of William & Mary, a Master’s degree from the University of Virginia and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Virginia Tech.

Dr. Nicely led the development of the C-Change Framework which now serves as the comprehensive vision for Roanoke County Public Schools and has been endorsed by the School Board. At the heart of the C-Change Framework is "deeper learning", simply defined as learning that is engaging and purposeful, and articulates the division's commitment to developing he knowledge and transfer skills students need for success. The RCPS Profile of a Graduate was developed by a team of stakeholders and further describes the RCPS commitment to prepare students to be Opportunity Ready.

“When I began my teaching career in Roanoke County Public Schools in 1993, I would never have dreamed that I would eventually become  superintendent. Roanoke County is one of the top school systems in Virginia, and I am humbled, honored, and deeply grateful to have the opportunity to lead this school division forward as we seek to make the C-Change Framework the consistent experience of every student, in every school, and every classroom."

“They say that no one is truly a leader unless people are following. My pledge as superintendent is that we will move this division forward; but we will move forward as a team, committed to support the success of each team member as we all work together for the success of each child."

Dr. Nicely serves on the local boards for Virginia Western Community College and United Way of Roanoke Valley, as well as the Cohen Career Center at William & Mary. He has taught as adjunct profesor at Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Tech, Radford University, and Hollins University. He has served as president of Virginia Middle School Association, chairman of the Virginia School Consortium for Learning, and trustee for the international Association for Middle Level Education. He is the recipient of the 2019 Virginia ASCD Leadership Award, the 2012 Ted Sizer Dissertation Award from National Association of Secondary School Principals, and 2001 Virginia Excellence in K-12 Teaching Award from the Foreign Language Association of Virginia. Prior to returning to the Roanoke Valley in 1993, Dr. Nicely and his wife lived and worked in Central America in Managua, Nicaragua, serving as the founding teachers and director of an international school that still thrives today. He and his wife are the proud parents of three children who graduated from Roanoke County Public Schools.

Last Modified on February 26, 2024