Dr. Jared Cotton, Valuing What We Measure vs. Measuring What We Value

The Path to Higher Ed is a SchooLinks hosted podcast community that explores trending topics and issues in the area of college and career readiness. Our featured guests are pushing education forward by constantly learning from, innovating and applying their college and career readiness practices.



This episode features Dr. Cotton, the Superintendent for Henry County Public Schools in Collinsville, Virginia. Dr. Cotton shares insight into how his district is both tech-driven and student-driven at the same time. We discuss how technology can be a game changer in providing more equity in the college admissions process. His caveat is that technology has to be used at a high level in a way that allows for immediate and consistent feedback to students. He also strengthens student voice in the process by applying their feedback in decision-making around course offerings and relationship-building between teachers and students.



About Dr. Cotton


Dr. Cotton currently serves as the Superintendent for Henry County Public Schools in Virginia. Prior to his current position, he served as the Associate Superintendent for the Department of Educational Leadership and Assessment for Virginia Beach City Public Schools. He has also served as Director of Assessment and Accountability, principal for a Title I elementary school, assistant principal at the middle and elementary school levels, instructional technology specialist, and classroom teacher for Chesapeake Public Schools in Chesapeake, Virginia. Additionally, Dr. Cotton has served as adjunct faculty in educational leadership and instructional technology for Troy University, Cambridge College, George Washington University, and the University of Virginia.


Dr. Cotton received his Ed.D. and Master’s degree from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Middle Education (4–8) from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. He has presented on topics pertaining to the effective use of technology in education, best practices in educational leadership, research on student assessment, and models for effective data analysis at state and national conferences to include the Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals, the Virginia School Board Association (VSBA), the International Society for Technology in Education, and Phi Delta Kappa.



About Henry County Public Schools


Henry County Public Schools operates 14 schools — two high schools, two middle schools, and ten elementary schools — a community learning center, and a regional alternative program. HCPS also operates preschool programs in all of its elementary schools.


Vision -


Henry County Public Schools: where critical thinking is expected, creativity is nurtured, technology and innovation are embraced, and learning is celebrated.


Mission -


Henry County Public Schools, a high-performing school division, provides all students with an exemplary education in a safe, supportive environment that promotes self-discipline, motivation, and excellence.


Goals -


High Quality Instruction

  • Henry County Public Schools will produce globally competitive students.

High Quality Professionals

  • Henry County Public Schools will be directed by highly qualified professionals.

Safe and Orderly Learning Environments

  • Henry County Public Schools will provide safe, orderly learning environments to support effective and innovative teaching and learning.

Innovative and Cutting-Edge Technology

  • Henry County Public Schools will strengthen the application of technology to enhance instruction and promote innovation.

Family and Community Engagement

  • Henry County Public Schools will engage families and the community to ensure open communication and opportunities for student success.


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