Introducing Mr. Henry J. Millward, Jr.
“Hank” Millward is currently employed by the Virginia Department of
Education (VDOE) as the Coordinator of Complaints and Family Involvement. His duties include providing technical
assistance and training on the federal and state special education laws and
regulations to the citizens and school divisions throughout the Commonwealth,
with primary responsibility for the Northern Virginia and Shenandoah Valley
regions. As his title implies, Mr.
Millward is also responsible for investigating complaints filed by parents
alleging that their school division failed to comply with some aspect of these
laws and regulations. Additionally, Mr.
Millward has been charged with the oversight of all of VDOE’s activities
related to family involvement.
Retiring from the Army after 24 years of service to become a special
education teacher, it was during his first year of teaching at the Hanover
Juvenile Correctional Center that he reframed his whole philosophy on education. Mr. Millward believes that it is not the
environment in which a child is being taught that will ensure his/her academic
success, but rather it is the ability of all of the individuals who are involved
in that child’s education to understand what motivates that specific child and
those individuals’ willingness to accept the student as they are and to develop
and apply appropriate instructional practices to meet that child’s needs that
will lead to academic success. Mr.
Millward agrees with the adage that it takes a village to raise a child;
however, he is a firm believer that one person must be willing and able to
bring that child to the village. Mr.
Millward also believes that, while parents are their child’s best advocate, the
student must also be taught to effectively advocate for themselves. It was also during his first year of teaching
that Mr. Millward learned to speak of his students as those with “unique and
untapped abilities” and not as having a disability.
Prior to coming to the VDOE, Mr. Millward held various positions
within the public school, private school, and correctional education settings:
most notably as a special education teacher, special education director,
Assistant Principal and Principal. He is
a sibling, a parent, and a grandparent of individuals with a disability. Mr. Millward holds an advanced degree in
School Administration and a Master of Science in Education with a concentration
in Special Education. He most enjoys
working with students who have emotional disabilities and/or behavioral
Mr. Millward claims that, when not spending time with his wife and
grandchildren, the thing he enjoys most is getting out into the community to conduct
presentations regarding special education and its associated laws and to
provide technical assistance to ensure that all children are provided the
opportunity to access a free appropriate public education and, as a result,
reach their full potential and become contributing members of their