Dr. Melinda Boone was selected as the next superintendent of Norfolk Public Schools at today’s school board meeting. Her new position will be effective December 1, 2015. Dr. Boone has more than three decades of experience in education and since 2009 has served as superintendent of Worcester Public Schools, the third largest urban school district in Massachusetts. The majority of Dr. Boone’s experience is in Virginia, including eight years with Norfolk Public Schools, where she served as chief academic officer from 2005 to 2009 and executive director of elementary schools from 2001 to 2005. Additional experiences include serving as assistant superintendent for educational services, coordinator of pupil personnel and testing, director of special education/pupil services, supervisor of special education, and speech language pathologist.
“I am honored to be selected as superintendent of Norfolk Public Schools,” said Dr. Boone, “There is no greater honor than to be called back home to serve and lead in the community that has meant so much to me professionally and personally. Norfolk Public Schools provided me the opportunity to further develop and refine my leadership skills in running an urban district and best practices in school turnaround. Those experiences played a significant role in the success experienced in Worcester Public Schools. I am very excited about collaborating with the School Board, principals and teachers to raise the level of student achievement and community confidence in its public schools. Working together with the community, we will create greater opportunities for the youth of this city!”
Dr. Boone’s leadership has resulted in:
- successful turnaround of under-performing schools in Worcester
- design and implementation of the district’s Comprehensive Accountability System for district and school improvement
- development of a spending plan and balanced budget during difficult economic times that was recognized by the Meritorious Budget Award
- reduction in the dropout rate to 2.4% and within one percentage point of the state’s rate
- implementation of wraparound services to meet the needs of students and families
- greater numbers of students taking Advanced Placement courses and graduating on time
- modernization and upgrade of school facilities in collaboration with Mayor, School Committee, City Manager, City Council and state school building authority
Dr. Boone has received numerous professional and community awards including the President’s Award from the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, Community Leadership Award from the Odd Fellows and Rebekah Assembly, and the YWCA Katherine Erskine Award for Women’s Leadership in Education.
The Norfolk School Board began its nationwide search for a new superintendent in April with the assistance of the Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA). Dr. Boone was selected after a comprehensive review of 36 applicants from 16 states and the District of Columbia, including 18 current or former superintendents. Rodney Jordan, chairman of the Norfolk School Board, believes Dr. Boone will be a great fit for the division. “Visionary, experienced, home grown, expertise in curriculum and instruction, track record of developing strong community and business involvement in schools… these were just some of the qualifications Norfolk said we wanted in our next superintendent. Dr. Boone comes back home to us with all of those and more. We will commit ourselves to a highly effective working relationship with Dr. Boone and she with teachers and administrators committed to success of all our students.”
Dr. Boone earned a doctorate in educational administration from the College of William and Mary, a certificate of advanced study in educational administration from Old Dominion University, a master of arts in audiology from the University of Illinois, and a bachelor of arts in communication disorders from Hampton University. Dr. Boone is the proud mother of two daughters who have strong connections to Norfolk Public Schools. Regina is a former teacher in the district; Alyssa is a graduate of Norfolk Public Schools; and her son-in-law, James, is also a NPS graduate. She has one granddaughter, Jayden.