City of Fairfax Schools Mourn The Loss of Former Superintendent George Stepp

“If, as parents and educators, we expect greatness from our kids, I am confident they will expect greatness from themselves,” George Stepp to the CloseUp Newsletter in December 2002.

The City of Fairfax Schools mourn the loss of former superintendent George Stepp. Stepp was killed in an automobile accident near his home outside of Dallas, Texas on Saturday, June 29. 

Stepp was the superintendent of the City of Fairfax Schools from 1996-2007. Prior to his time in Fairfax City, Stepp spent 27 years in Fairfax County Public Schools as a teacher, administrator, and area superintendent.  Stepp led the successful completion of two school bonds to renovate all four schools in the City of Fairfax. He also led the consolidation of four elementary schools to two, which are now Daniels Run ES and Providence ES. 

Stepp attended Morehead State University, where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees and later continued his in the doctoral program of education administration from Vanderbilt University. 

“George Stepp was a transformative city superintendent for the City of Fairfax,” said City of Fairfax School Board Chair Carolyn Pitches. “While I didn’t have the pleasure of serving on the school board during his tenure, I know my two daughters and all of our city students benefited from the successful consolidation and renovations he led in our city schools.”

Janice Miller, former school board member and chair of the City of Fairfax Schools, worked with Stepp for many years when he was at FCPS and then when he was superintendent. “George Stepp was a big man with a big, big heart and he was an amazing school superintendent. He cared deeply about our school children, our teachers, and our staff. He was committed to excellence and the best opportunities for ALL our kiddos. He is gone but will not be forgotten.”

Mr. Stepp’s colleagues and predecessors praised his work while in FCPS and the City of Fairfax. 

“We are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of our former superintendent, George Stepp,” said Jeff Platenberg, superintendent of the City of Fairfax Schools. “His vision and dedication were instrumental in the renovation of all our City schools and the successful consolidation of our elementary schools. His legacy of commitment to educational excellence will continue to inspire us and benefit our community for generations to come.”

“George Stepp was an exceptionally strong leader who accomplished so much in his time as superintendent,” said Ann Monday, City of Fairfax superintendent from 2007-2012. “I am a City resident who appreciated his efforts that resulted in the passage of the bond to fund the consolidation and renovations of our schools. He secured resources in science and technology in our elementary schools and worked with FCPS to locate the Fairfax Academy for Communications and the Arts at Fairfax High School. I was proud to follow him as superintendent where I got to see firsthand the positive impact George Stepp had on the City Schools.”

“When I was appointed superintendent of the City of Fairfax Schools, I knew I was following a legacy of strong and dedicated former superintendents. George Stepp was one of those superintendents on which shoulders. I stood,” said Dr. Phyllis Pajardo, superintendent for the City of Fairfax from 2017-2022. “Mr. Stepp’s focus was unparalleled. He challenged people and processes beyond boundaries with excellent outcomes. I am saddened by this unexpected loss. I know Mr. Stepp leaves a leadership legacy not only in the City of Fairfax Schools and the larger Fairfax County community, but nationally.”