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School board in Va. to vote on firing superintendent in wake of 3rd school shooting in 18 months

Nour Habib, Daily Press on

Published in News & Features

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — The Newport News School Board will vote Wednesday evening on the firing of Superintendent George Parker and appointment of an interim leader.

The special board meeting was announced Tuesday, and follows a series of closed meeting discussions the board has held in the past two weeks. Another closed meeting session is scheduled for Tuesday night to discuss the “assignment, appointment and performance of specific administrators in the school division.”

Parker has faced a barrage of criticism since the Jan. 6 shooting of first-grade teacher Abigail Zwerner. The shooting is the third on school property in 18 months, following the 2021 shootings at Heritage and Menchville high schools.

Teachers, parents and community members have blamed the administration for failing to properly handle “out of control” student behavior, and have called for Parker’s removal. Dozens of teachers and parents spoke at last week’s board meeting to express their anger, and others have sent letters to school board members.


Wednesday’s meeting, set for 6 p.m., states that board members will vote on the approval of a separation agreement and severance with the superintendent.

Parker was hired as superintendent at Newport News in 2018. He previously served as superintendent of Caroline County Public Schools in Virginia, and spent many years as an educator at Virginia Beach City Public Schools.


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