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Ahoskie native named superintendent

AHOSKIE – While Hertford County continues to search for a new school superintendent, one of its natives is blazing trails as an educational leader elsewhere.

Dr. Marcus J. Newsome, son of Edward and Essie Nora Newsome of Ahoskie, was unanimously approved for the position of superintendent of the Chesterfield County (Virginia) public school system.

Newsome had previously served as the superintendent of Newport News (Virginia) Public Schools since 2003; he was the first African-American to ever be elected to that position.

The Newport News district is the largest school district on Virginia’s southeast peninsula with over 30,000 students.

During Newsome’s tenure, all five Newport News high schools were named to Newsweek’s &uot;Best High Schools in America&uot; list.

Newport News School Board Chair Marshall W. Trammell had high praise for Newsome’s work.

&uot;During the past 28 years, Dr. Newsome has established an exemplary record as a teacher, curriculum developer, principal, central office administrator and superintendent,&uot; Trammell stated. &uot;You can see that Dr. Newsome possesses and models the high standards of our adopted core values: respect, responsibility, honesty and accountability.&uot;

Prior to joining the Newport News school system, Newsome worked for Prince George’s County (Md.) the 17th largest school district in the country.

While in Maryland, Newsome served as Regional Superintendent, Director of Student Support Programs, elementary school principal and middle school assistant principal.

The recipient of numerous awards of excellence, Newsome has also worked as a curriculum writer, a dean of students and taught in the District of Columbia school system.

Newsome was excited about his new challenge.

&uot;This is an award-winning school division,&uot; Newsome said. &uot;I still believe that the best days are ahead for our students.&uot;

Newsome’s contract was extended through 2008 after his first year in Newport News.

Last month he declined to sign another extension through 2010 knowing that he was considering taking another position.

Newport News school board chair Rick Donaldson said he wasn’t surprised that the Chesterfield District came after Newsome.

&uot;We were surprised at the news, but Dr. Newsome is one heck of a superintendent and we were aware that he was perpetually fielding offers from other districts,&uot; Donaldson said. &uot;He’s an individual who had a quiet confidence about him, but he’s not afraid to address a problem.&uot;

Newsome holds doctorate degrees in Educational leadership and Religious Education from Bowie State University in Maryland and International Seminary in Plymouth Florida respectively. He also holds a Master’s degree from Bowie State and a bachelor’s degree from Elizabeth City State University.

Newsome has addressed the U.S. Congress and U.S. Department of Education regarding state and school district improvement and testified before the Senate Finance Committee on the impact of delays in state funding for education.

Newsome, 52, serves or has served as co-chair of the Virginia Governor Elect’s Education Transition Policy Committee; chair of the Virginia Superintendent’s Region II Study Group, chair of the College of William and Mary School University Research Network; chairman of the Hampton Roads Educational Telecommunications Association Inc; Harvard University Urban Superintendent Associate in Practice; member of the Association of American School Administrators, National School Board Association, Virginia School Board Association, Virginia Association of School Superintendents, Virginia Colonial Boy Scouts Executive Board, United Way of the Peninsula Board of Directors, and Virginia Peninsula Boys and Girls Club Board of Directors.