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Acting schools chief a 'people person'
Andre Nougaret named Stafford schools' acting superintendent for the second time

 Andre Nougaret, Stafford's acting school superintendent, looks through a house recently built by county high school students who learn to design and build houses.
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Date published: 6/14/2010


Andre Nougaret's first year with the Stafford County school system set the stage for his life--personally and professionally.

In 1976, during his first few months as a special-education teacher at Stafford High School, he met a school psychologist named Erin Griffin.

They married less than a year later.

Now, Nougaret, 55, is set to become the division's acting superintendent for the second time in four years. His wife is retiring this year after 34 years as a school psychologist in Stafford.

"This is the only place I've ever worked," Nougaret said in explaining his decision to accept the job as acting superintendent. "This is home."

Last month, the School Board unanimously voted to name him acting superintendent effective July 1. Board members gave him a round of applause after casting their votes.

Nougaret is serving as the superintendent's designee this month, and will receive $5,000 a month, in addition to his $131,803 annual salary, for taking on the extra responsibilities.

David Sawyer, who became schools chief in March 2007, is on paid vacation until his contract expires June 30.

The School Board hopes to replace Sawyer in early August. Nougaret said he did not apply for the job.

"I know that probably for me, the stress associated with that position is not something that I would want for an extended period of time," he said.

"The county needs someone who's going to come in, who's going to live here, who's going to stay here for a period of time, establish some roots, be a part of the community," he said.

Nougaret, who lives in Spotsylvania County, became acting superintendent for the first time after Jean Murray was fired from the post in July 2006.

Some of the stress involved in being a school superintendent comes from dealing with the politics of the job.

Still, Nougaret called himself "buddies" with County Administrator Anthony Romanello, even though the School Board has had a strained relationship with the Board of Supervisors. He and Romanello had lunch recently, he said.

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