NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – The first of three public hearings began Thursday as Newport News Public Schools continues to search for a new superintendent. The Virginia School Boards Association in Charlottesville was selected to oversee the search.

The process kickstarts nearly three months after Dr. George Parker was fired from the role in response to community concerns over safety and security after Abby Zwerner, a first grade teacher, was shot by her six year old student.

According to Newport News Public Schools’ timeline, two public hearings will be held in April to gather community opinion on what they would like to see in new leadership. The Newport News School Board will then take that information to come up with a list of qualifications and hand it over to the Virginia School Boards Association by April 26.

“I would like to see them take threats more seriously, when it comes to children making threats on other children or staff members,” said Jaquanna Moyler, the mother of a Richneck Elementary School student. “They need to investigate that a little bit more.”

The official period for applications would begin May 1 through May 26 with candidate interviews taking place over the summer.

A survey has also been launched online asking those in the community to rank their top leadership/management preferences, personal characteristics, relationship between the school board and superintendent and preferred areas of expertise.

The school division hopes to have a new superintendent named before the start of the 2023-2024 school year.

The district’s current timeline is below:

March 23, 2023

Announcement to the public of Superintendent Search

April 13, 2023 (6:00 p.m.)

Public Hearing (Central- Location TBA)

April 17, 2023 (6:00 p.m.)

Public Hearing (North – Location TBA)

April 20, 2023 (5:30 p.m.)

Staff Public Hearing (Location TBA)

April 22, 2023 (10 a.m. – Noon)

Public Hearing (South- Location TBA)

April 23, 2023

Deadline for Surveys

April 25, 2023  

Board Meets to establish qualifications

April 26, 2023

Provide established qualifications to VSBA

May 1 – May 26, 2023

Receive applications

June 7, 2023 (1 p.m.)

Second meeting with the VSBA

June/July/August 2023

Interviews with candidates

August/September 2023

Announcement of person selected