Norfolk Public Schools appoints acting superintendent

Posted at 7:41 AM, Apr 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-02 17:30:38-04

Norfolk, Va. (WTKR) - The School Board of the City of Norfolk unanimously appointed Dr. Michael E. Thornton as Acting Superintendent of Schools beginning May 1, 2015.

Dr. Thornton currently serves as Chief Operations Officer for Norfolk Public Schools.

"Privileged and humbled and high expectations and realizing that it’s going to take an entire team to continue to move us forward," Dr. Thornton told NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo on Thursday.

Click here to read Dr. Thornton's bio

The appointment of Dr. Thornton comes as current Superintendent, Dr. Samuel King, exits the school division after his contract was ended early.

"We are going to work together to transition because it’s not about Dr. King. It’s not about Michael Thorton. It’s about the students and teachers and we as professionals we are expected to and really we should have a smooth transition," Dr. Thornton said.

The School Board and Dr. Thornton will focus on three major priorities:

1. Teaching and learning, with an emphasis on continued student achievement gains, a successful testing period, and a strong finish to the 2014-2015 academic year;

2. Shepherding the 2015-2016 operating budget through completion and monitoring grant programs; and

3. Providing division-wide stability and safe, secure, positive school environments that encourage students and staff to do their best work.

“The School Board is committed to instilling confidence in our staff, parents, students and community that the division will continue moving forward during the leadership transition,” said School Board Chairman Kirk T. Houston, Sr. “Under Dr. Thornton’s leadership, we will focus on student success. We appreciate Norfolk Public Schools’ staff, families and community partners for their support.”

The School Board also will begin planning the process for selecting and appointing a new superintendent.