NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY)- The Newport News school board has begun its search for its new superintendent following the firing of George Parker III.
The board has 180 days from the firing of Parker to select a new superintendent. Board member Marvin Harris told 10 On Your Side that the board will solicit for input from teachers, families and community members during the selection process. How that will work remains to be determined.
“The bottom line is we are going to ensure that the public has a say-so in the superintendent search,” Harris said. “It’s important that all stakeholders have a say-so in that process. It is a process that is not taken lightly. It is intense and requires a lot of maturity and understanding where the school system is at where it’s heading in the future. But we want to make sure we get buy-in from every area of the public.”
Virginia Education Association President Dr. James Fedderman also said that teachers and staff members should have a say in the selection process. He also emphasized that he hopes the next superintendent is supportive of collective bargaining.
“The next superintendent of Newport News Public Schools should be someone who never lost sight of what it was like to have been in the classroom,” Fedderman said. “Often the thoughts and the desires of what makes learning conditions better should be highly connected to the classroom, the community and the educators and the students.”
It remains to be determined whether the board will use the Virginia Association of School Boards for the candidate search, as it has in the past, or if it will seek the help of an outside firm.
The search gets underway as the board appointed a new member during a special meeting last night. The board appointed Maritsa Alger to fill the seat of John Eley III, which was vacated when the latter was elected to be a city councilman.