‘The best SPS’ impresses

Published 10:02 pm Wednesday, October 16, 2019

New Suffolk Public Schools Superintendent Dr. John B. Gordon III has only officially been in his position for half a week, but we already are finding things to appreciate about him and his approach to managing the city’s school system.

Dr. Gordon, who comes to the city from the position of chief of schools in Chesterfield County, was the unanimous choice of a seven-member school board that has been deeply divided on some other issues. That alone, we think, says a lot about Dr. Gordon, his “fit” in our school system and his talent for consensus-building and leadership abilities.

But it doesn’t end there.

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Dr. Gordon has already impressed us with his theme of “Building the Best SPS,” his results-driven focus on what a graduate of this school system should look like, his quest to close the achievement gap and make sure every student is being challenged in meaningful ways, and his pursuit of student safety.

We also appreciate his vow of transparency and his promise to rely on institutional knowledge as he gets acquainted with the community.

On his second official day on the job, he already was meeting parents and community members personally at a meeting at Nansemond River High School and has similar meetings planned at the city’s other two high schools in the coming days. This tour of meetings also speaks well for him.

Dr. Gordon has a lot to learn about Suffolk Public Schools, even as the community is learning about him. But we like what we see so far and appreciate the hard work he has already put forth on behalf of the approximately 14,265 students and 2,100 employees under his leadership.