Chesterfield superintendent Marcus Newsome to lead Petersburg Public Schools

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PETERSBURG, Va. -- Marcus Newsome was named the new superintendent of Petersburg Public School. The announcement comes months after Newsome announced he planned to retire as superintendent of Chesterfield Schools effective July 2016.

The new job takes Newsome from one of the state's strongest and largest school systems to one with a significant number of challenges.

"The challenges in Petersburg are great, but so are the opportunities to accomplish something great for the city’s children and the entire community," Newsome said. "I look forward to establishing collaborative relationships with the division’s teachers, principals, support staff and other educators — and to building on the foundations already in place and the successes already achieved."

Newsome, who announced his retirement as Chesterfield County superintendent last October, lead that school division for a decade. Prior to that, Newsome served superintendent of Newport News Public Schools.

"All of us — School Board members, teachers, parents and members of the business community — must now unite around Dr. Newsome and his vision of a school system whose students can compete with their peers across the state and graduate prepared for the 21st-century economy," Petersburg School Board Chairman Pritchett said.

Wednesday evening, the Petersburg School Board voted unanimously to approve Newsome's new contract as superintendent. It takes effect July 1.

Newsome will be paid $230,000 a year over the course of his four-year contract. An incentive fund approved by the 2016 General Assembly to strengthen executive leadership within the school system will provide $60,000 of Newsome's yearly salary, according to the school system.

"This is a turning point for Petersburg and for the division’s 4,300 students," Virginia Secretary of Education Anne Holton said. "Petersburg’s children are the commonwealth’s children, and by supporting the Petersburg board's effort to recruit such a distinguished leader, Governor Terry McAuliffe and the General Assembly are sending a message: We believe in you and we believe in your teachers and principals."