Dr. Michelle Cihak Named Executive Director of the Governor’s School for the Arts


Dr. Michelle Cihak Named Executive Director of the Governor’s School for the Arts 

The Committee of Superintendents that oversees the Governor’s School for the Arts (GSA) is pleased to announce the hiring of Dr. Michelle Cihak as the new Executive Director. Dr. Cihak will assume her new role beginning July 12, 2021.

Dr. Cihak currently serves as the principal of Poquoson High School and is also an adjunct professor at the College of William and Mary in the School of Education. She has served in a variety of roles throughout her 17 years in education, including a Literary Arts Instructor in the School of the Arts for York County from 2001 through 2008.  

Her new position as executive director of the GSA is a homecoming of sorts for Dr. Cihak. “Having started my teaching career in an arts magnet program, I am thrilled at the opportunity to lead the Governor’s School for the Arts and facilitate enriching experiences that will encourage young people to follow their passion. I look forward to working with the dynamic faculty, student body, community partners, and families to build on the legacy of success at the GSA. This will undoubtedly strengthen our school divisions’ partnerships with the collective goal of putting our students first.”

Dr. Cihak holds a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and political science from Vanderbilt University, a master’s degree in curriculum, instruction, and assessment from Walden University, and a doctorate of education from the College of William and Mary.

Carlos Clanton, Governor’s School for the Arts Regional Board Chair, shared, As a GSA arts alumnus and current GSA Regional Board Chair, I am excited to welcome Dr. Cihak as our new Executive Director. Dr. Cihak’s experiences as a building-level, school administrator and her experiences in the area of theater arts make her well-positioned to carry on the proud tradition of GSA.   By drawing upon some of the greatest visual and performing artists here in the Commonwealth and around the world, productions will generate a new level of enthusiasm. I look forward to witnessing the next chapter the students, teachers, and staff of the Virginia GSA will embark upon together under Dr. Cihak’s creative and visionary leadership.”

Dr. John B. Gordon III, chair for the Committee of Superintendents, commented, “We are so excited that Dr. Cihak is joining us as the Executive Director for the  GSA. Her vast experience as a building level administrator along with her background in theatre made her the perfect candidate for this position. We look forward to sharing in Dr. Cihak’s vision to grow enrollment, brand and market the program, and to take the  GSA to the next level.

The Governor’s School for the Arts serves the school divisions of Chesapeake, Franklin, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Isle of Wight, Southampton, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach. To attend GSA, the student must be enrolled in a public high school in one of the eight participating school divisions.


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