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Virtual Safety Summit

RCPS held the Virtual Safety Summit on Wednesday, April 20, 2022.



The Summit was live-streamed on the RCPS YouTube Channel and re-aired on RVTV.  

The Safety Summit brought together national, regional, and local experts to discuss the current challenges and research-based best practices related to school safety. Panelist participating were:

  • Ken Trump – one of the nation’s leading school safety experts with more than 30 years of front-line public and private urban, suburban, and rural school security experience working with school and safety officials from all 50 states and internationally.
  • Dr. Gerard Lawson – a Professor in the School of Education at Virginia Tech, Dr. Lawson was instrumental in helping to coordinate the counseling response to the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007. He is the author of Virginia Tech’s Disaster Behavioral Health Plan and has helped many institutions prepare for crisis response.
  • Vice Mayor Trish White-Boydelected as vice mayor of Roanoke City Council in January 2021, having served on council since 2019.
  • Councilman Joe Cobb – a member of Roanoke City Council since 2018, Mr. Cobb also currently serves as the chair of the Gun Violence Prevention Commission. Mr. Cobb can be contacted by emailing [email protected].
  • Chief Sam RomanChief of the Roanoke Police Department, Chief Roman was appointed in 2020 after serving 28 years in law enforcement, of which 25 were in Roanoke
  • Chief Deputy Colonel James "Chuck" Ferguson – during his 37 years in the Roanoke City Sheriff’s Department, Chief Deputy Colonel Ferguson has served as a supervisor in multiple divisions within the department and has been the Commander of the Tactical Team for 23 years.
  • Chris Roberts – as Youth and Gang Violence Prevention Coordinator for the City of Roanoke, Mr. Roberts coordinates activities and programs between city departments, community groups, stakeholders, and agencies in "the awareness, suppression, intervention and prevention of youth and gang-related activity." Mr. Roberts can be contacted by emailing [email protected] or calling (540) 853.5572. 
  • Heather Gunn – a licensed counselor with Blue Ridge Behavior Health, Mrs. Gunn also has children who attend Roanoke City Public Schools.
  • Lutheria Smith – chair of the Roanoke School Board, Mrs. Smith has served on the Roanoke School Board since 2016. Both her children are RCPS graduates.
  • Superintendent Verletta White – appointed as Superintendent of Roanoke City Public Schools in 2020, Mrs. White often refers to Roanoke City as "the sweetest city on earth." Mrs. White has dedicated her life to public service, specifically to serving students, their families, and the community at large.
  • Chris Perkins – Chief Operations Officer for Roanoke City Public Schools, Mr. Perkins has been with the school system since 2018. He retired as Chief of the Roanoke Police Department in 2016, after 24 years of service to the Roanoke community.
  • Archie Freeman – appointed as Chief Academic Officer in 2020, Mr. Freeman has served RCPS for 20 years, including as principal of William Fleming High School for nine years, among other administrative positions.
  • Hayley Poland – oversees special education, counseling, and student services, including student discipline, as Assistant Superintendent of Equity and Student Services.
40 Douglass Avenue NW, Roanoke, VA 24012 Phone 540-853-2502