By Linda Cicoira
Former Accomack County Attorney Mark Taylor, who served in the local post from 2007 to 2015, is embroiled in a controversy surrounding his recent contract to serve as Spotsylvania County’s school superintendent beginning Nov. 1, according to reports being made across Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Complaints from Spotsylvania School Board members, who didn’t favor hiring Taylor, have questioned his qualifications for the job because he has no experience in public education and is an acquaintance of the board’s chairman.
The Virginia Board of Education granted Taylor a license after hours of comments of opposition from parents, educators, and community members were heard. One School Board member has asked her attorney to file a lawsuit to appeal the state’s decision.
There have also been claims that Taylor posted allegedly racist comments and made disparaging remarks regarding gender identity on social media, according to reports. Taylor replied to these allegations that his account was hacked.
A letter from his estranged daughter, that questioned the quality of her home-school education, was read at a school board meeting.
Taylor previously held the posts of both county attorney and county administrator in Spotsylvania and is currently administrator for Greene County. When he left his Accomack position, he was being paid $131,602. He moved after the Spotsylvania Board of Supervisors offered him $159,000 annually to be their county administrator. In 2019, a Charlottesville newspaper reported he went to Greene County for $135,000 a year. The superintendent job offer includes a $245,000 annual salary and $5,000 for moving expenses.
The contract was reported to include language that says in the event Taylor is fired without cause, the board must continue paying him through the end of his four-year deal. The contract also gives Taylor full health insurance benefits when he retires, no matter how long he ends up working for the school system.