Dr. Newsome to be next Petersburg superintendent - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Dr. Newsome to be next Petersburg superintendent

Dr. Marcus Newsome will be named the next superintendent of Petersburg Schools, according to sources. (Source: NBC12) Dr. Marcus Newsome will be named the next superintendent of Petersburg Schools, according to sources. (Source: NBC12)

Former Chesterfield School Superintendent Dr. Marcus Newsome will be named the next superintendent of Petersburg Schools, officials announced at an afternoon press conference.

Dr. Marcus Newsome announced in October his plans to retire as Superintendent of Chesterfield County Public Schools at the end of the school year after nearly 10 years in the position. He also previously served as superintendent of Newport News Public Schools and has also worked in the Prince George's County, MD and Washington DC school systems. 

He signed a 4-year contract in Petersburg and he made it clear today, he excited for this new opportunity and challenge. He said we all have to pull together to make sure every student succeeds. “No one is going to come and fly in and save our children but us. We can't make excuses because if it doesn't happen we are all responsible.”

At the time, he said he it was a decision he wanted to make for some time, but had made the district a promise to stay through a budget shortfall and SOL challenges.

He said he met with the school board last week and even joked Wednesday about the high expectations for this new job. “You are looking for
someone who can walk on water, heal the sick and raise the dead, Well I think they realized he did not apply for the job.”

In all seriousness, he admitted this is a daunting task. Petersburg has been plagued with issues over the years. Only one of seven schools is fully accredited and  numerous administrators have come and gone over the years.

He said some have asked, “Why would you put a 35-year unblemished education career on the line? Because I love children.”

Newsome will replace Superintendent Joseph Melvin who stepped down in October. The school board agreed to let Dr. Melvin out of his contract early saying it was "in the best interest of the school division, as it will allow Dr. Melvin to explore other professional opportunities, while allowing the school board to immediately begin the search for a new superintendent."

Community members voiced concerns over the search for a replacement for the struggling district when officials hired a consulting firm at the cost of $17,000 to lead the search.

"Hopefully, we'll be able to find a superintendent who will want to stay," said school board Chair Kenneth Pritchett at the time.

Newsome led the Chesterfield school division with around 59,000 students and was paid $227,064 with a $12,000 car allowance and $40,000 in deferred compensation.

Newsome's four-year contract with Petersburg starts on July 1. He will receive $230,000 a year, with $60,000 coming from an incentive fund approved by the 2016 General Assembly.

Payments from that fund are contingent on the school division achieving goals established between the Petersburg School board and the State Board of Education.

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