Pajardo Is Leaving Fairfax City Schools

Pajardo Is Leaving Fairfax City Schools

Superintendent announces retirement during Monday’s board meeting.

City of Fairfax Schools Superintendent Phyllis Pajardo will be retiring at the end of this school year. She made a formal announcement during Monday night’s regular School Board meeting. Her last day as superintendent will be June 30.

“In my past seven years in the City of Fairfax, I have been fortunate enough to work with a wonderful staff, a conscientious and supportive school board and talented educators,” said Pajardo. “I look forward to taking some time to travel, spend time with my family and continue to support current and future educational leaders as an author and consultant.”

And although she’ll definitely be missed, she’s definitely earned her retirement. Before coming to the City, Pajardo was a teacher, leader and assistant superintendent in Fairfax County Public Schools for more than 35 years. She’s worked in the City of Fairfax, the past seven years – her last five, as superintendent.

Photo Courtesy of Carrie Dorsey

Phyllis Pajardo chats with a student in 2021 at Daniels Run Elementary.


“Dr. Pajardo has been a compassionate, talented and strong leader, as well as an advocate for the students and staff in the City of Fairfax Schools,” said City School Board Chair Carolyn Pitches. “While we are sad to see her go, we are grateful for her leadership, and she will leave with our respect, admiration and best wishes into retirement.” 

Pajardo joined the City’s school system in August 2015, initially as assistant superintendent of schools. In that position, she coordinated student and staff recognition programs, the release of instructional grants to the four City schools, and a panel enabling middle and high school students to talk to School Board members about their schools. 

Pajardo enjoyed working with her colleagues here, as well as “the small-town feel of the City, where people know each other.” And she was delighted when, in August 2017, she was named superintendent.

During her tenure, she oversaw the name change to Katherine Johnson Middle School, plus the expansion of the advanced academic programs at both Providence and Daniels Run elementary schools and at the middle school. Pajardo also shepherded the establishment of partnerships with the four schools (including Fairfax High) and George Mason University, as well as the founding of the Superintendent Advisory Team. Furthermore, she helped with the hiring of four principals. 

In 2017, Pajardo was named Educator of the Year by Leadership Fairfax. She’s also the author of “The Principal Influence: A Framework for Developing Leadership Capacity in Principals.” 

Going forward, the City of Fairfax School Board has hired former City Schools Superintendent Ann Monday to help with the search for a new superintendent. Since retiring from the City, she had extensive experience coordinating multiple superintendent searches throughout Virginia. As of Tuesday, the search for Pajardo’s successor began.

For more information about the superintendent selection process, the hiring timeline and to provide feedback, go to

--Carrie Dorsey contributed to this story.