Petersburg hires North Carolina deputy superintendent to lead school district

Petersburg introduces new superintendent

PETERSBURG, Va. (WWBT) - Thursday evening, Maria Pitre-Martin was introduced to the community just moments after signing her new contract to replace Dr. Marcus Newsome.

“I am ready,” Dr. Maria Pitre-Martin told the crowd.

Pitre-Martin is leaving her post as deputy state superintendent in North Carolina a post she’s leaving to come to Petersburg. Newsome announced he’s retiring for the second time, first after leaving Chesterfield and this time Petersburg.

"This has been three of the most rewarding years of my life being a member of this Petersburg community and my prayer for you is that your tenure will be at least three times as long as mine,” Newsome said looking at his successor.

“I can’t say enough how much of an honor it is to be here in Petersburg,” Pitre-Martin said. “I’m a firm believer that in order for us to truly move forward we have to do this as a team. We have to be in the same boat together, rowing in the same direction in order to help our students move forward.”

Parent Kristal Moore-Clemmons came out to see just who this new leader is.

“I’m delighted,” Moore-Clemmons said. “It’s really important to have a leader with a vision, and I think she will definitely provide what our students need in Petersburg.”

Teacher’s assistant Cynthia Caldwell is retiring after nearly 30 years in Petersburg and said she was also impressed, and already has a wish list for the new Superintendent.

“I hope Petersburg gets increases in salaries and pay, especially teacher pay,” Caldwell said.

The decisions Pitre-Martin will make are yet to be determined. What is already evident is how she was welcomed with open arms.

"You are a blessing sent here to us, and we can’t wait to get started to make great changes and great advances here,” Mayor Sam Parham said.

“Education has the power to do amazing things for young people,” Pitre-Martin said. “I guarantee you I will not let you down.”

Pitre-Martin signed a four-year contract. Her first day on the job is July 1.

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