CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WFXR)– After a 500-mile journey, the newly appointed Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) Superintendent has taken office.

Dr. Bernard F. Bragen has spent this past week getting acclimated to the school system.

With nine years of superintendent experience in public schools in New Jersey, he began his educational career as a special education teacher and child study team member. After 10 years, he found his way into administration, where he was a Supervisor of Special Education, Assistant Principal, Principal, Assistant Superintendent of Schools, and Superintendent of Schools. 

Now, Dr. Bragen is getting used to his new digs.

“I had a feeling this was a right fit for me, and every day it has just been more reaffirmed,” said Dr. Bragen.

When it comes to first impressions at MCPS, Dr. Bragen says it was remarkable to see how many special needs students were included in a general education setting. He explains while this is positive, it can also raise some challenges because it’s important to make sure all students’ needs are met within the classrooms.

“I’m committed to doing everything in my power for all of our children to meet with success, whatever that means. I am at a stage in my life, where I don’t have a lot of other distractions, ” said Dr. Bragen.

He says one of his goals is to understand the school system.

The next, making sure the school community knows he is a superintendent that is present and available.

“What I am trying to do is have an open door policy, be really accessible to the community and not have layers in between me, the classroom, the students, and the parent community,” said Dr. Bragen.

He adds Montgomery County Public Schools, and his new jersey school system is similar, which is helping him to take the lead.

He explains one thing is for sure the more he gets to experience the New River Valley, the more he knows he made the right choice.

WFXR’s Kelsey Jean-Baptiste asked Dr. Bragen, what is one thing you want people to know about you?

He says he is a real history fanatic, and it was one of the things that resonated with him when he moved to Virginia.

“I got posters of historical perspectives from Virginia. Including the second Continental Congress where George Washington was appointed the Commander in Chief in 1774. So to be here, and to be a apart of that where our nation began is exciting for me,” said Dr. Bragen.

If you want to meet Dr. Bragen he is holding several Community Coffee Meet n’ Greets to allow the people to say hello, give him advice, and share their concerns.

Coffee Meet n’ Greets:

Saturday, December 10 – Great Road on Main (Christiansburg) – 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Tuesday, December 13 – Starbucks on University City (Blacksburg) – 11 a.m. to noon

Saturday, December 17 – Auburn Middle School – 10 a.m. – 11 a.m