Southampton County Schools hires superintendent

Published 11:48 am Thursday, April 12, 2012

COURTLAND—The superintendent for Petersburg City Public Schools has been hired as Southampton County Public Schools’ new superintendent.

Dr. Alvera Parrish will be paid $131,000 annually, which is the same salary as Superintendent Charles Turner, who is retiring in June after 13 years at the helm.

The School Board voted unanimously to hire Parrish.

Parrish was among three finalists, including at least one currently employed by the school district, said School Board President Russell Schools. Schools would not name the employee.

“The search committee looked at 18 or 19 candidates,” he said. “Some were in the system, some were (from) inside the state, and the committee boiled it down to three. The whole board listened and interviewed the three.”

Schools is happy with the board’s choice.

“She certainly has the experience of being a superintendent,” he said. “We looked at all the facts and figures. We liked the way she handled herself in the interview and she liked our system, especially that all of our schools are accredited.”

Petersburg has 4,200 students compared to Southampton’s 2,900. The Petersburg school system is working under a memorandum of understanding with the Virginia Department of Education because three of its seven schools aren’t fully accredited.

Parrish is from Brunswick County and prefers the “country life” to living in the city, Schools said.

“When she (Parrish) saw the position was available, she was very excited,” said School Board Member Roberta Naranjo, who oversaw the search committee. “She was raised in the Brunswick area and has all her degrees from UVA (University of Virginia). We had excellent candidates and we kept bringing them back,” Naranjo added. “It was a very difficult decision.”

Parrish, who could not be reached, was hired in 2007 in Petersburg as assistant superintendent. In June 2010, she became interim superintendent before accepting the top administrative position one month later.

Parrish on Wednesday announced her resignation to the Petersburg School Board.