2011 Award Recipient


The Margaret Sue Copenhaver Contribution to Education Award recognizes outstanding commitment and work in the field of education. The recipients are selected by the MSCI steering committee through a process that seeks to identify those whose lives echo Margaret Sue's passion for teaching and learning. It is with great pleasure that the Copenhaver Institute presents the ninth annual Contribution to Education Award to Dr. Lorraine Lange.

Lorraine S. Lange, Roanoke College alumna, is a lifelong
educator who began her career as a teacher in Roanoke City in 1969. Shortly after, she helped open W. E. Cundiff Elementary School (formerly Hardy Road Elementary School) and taught several years there prior to becoming the school's assistant principal. She later served as principal of Mount Vernon Elementary School, Clearbrook Elementary School and Green Valley Elementary School for five years. In 1988, she moved to the central office of Roanoke County Schools where she was named supervisor of language arts. After nine years in that position she became the associate director of instruction, assuming responsibility of supervising all instructional coordinators and the academic achievement of the 14,500 students in the Roanoke County School District. In 2005, she was named deputy superintendent and in 2006, the Roanoke County School Board appointed her superintendent of Roanoke County Schools.

Dr. Lange has worked for four different superintendents since she began her career with the Roanoke County School District. One of the most rewarding aspects of her career has been to mentor young women in education. She uses her past experiences to help other women who want to advance in their careers.

In addition to the enormous contributions she makes to K-12 education, Lange has served as adjunct professor at Roanoke College, Hollins University, UVA and Virginia Tech where she taught graduate level courses to aspiring teachers. Currently, she dedicates many hours each week to community activities and organizations. She is on the executive board of the United Way, serves on the board of directors for the Roanoke Symphony and Virginia Western Community College, and is very active with the two local Chambers of Commerce. She feels strongly that businesses and educators must work together to prepare students for the future.
Lange attends numerous nationwide conferences and meetings to help bring the latest technology and innovative learning techniques to the school division. One conference led her to initiate the development of the Roanoke County Schools' motto, "Learning for All - Whatever It Takes."

The recipient of several awards during her years of service with Roanoke County Schools, Lange was most recently named State Superintendent of the Year by the Virginia Association of School Superintendents (VASS). She also received the Tech Savvy Superintendent Award from eSchool News in 2009.

One of her greatest career accomplishments has been to finish her doctorate degree while raising three small children. She credits her supportive husband, Bill, with making it possible for her to accomplish this goal, as he helped with the children while she attended classes. They have two sons who reside in Roanoke and a daughter who lives in Bethesda, Md. Lorraine and Bill are the proud grandparents of eight grandchildren. Family is very important to Lange and she makes it a priority to spend quality time with all of them. Her door is always open and she is always there to help anyone who seeks her advice and direction.