School Board Names New Superintendent

The Suffolk School Board has appointed John B. Gordon III, Ed.D. as the next superintendent of Suffolk Public Schools. Dr. Gordon’s new position will be effective October 14, 2019. Dr. Gordon has more than 24 years of experience in public education in both Maryland and Virginia. He has worked as a teacher, dean of students, assistant principal, principal, director of administrative services, and chief of schools. Since 2017, he has served as chief of schools in Chesterfield County Public Schools.


“I am extremely honored to be selected as the next superintendent of Suffolk Public Schools,” said Gordon. “Suffolk Public Schools is an excellent school division that works very hard to support all students and help them reach their goals. I am so lucky to work with a collaborative school board, dedicated teachers, outstanding students, and great leaders that have led the school division to 100% accreditation. It is my job to inspire our school division to reach new heights, and to ensure that all students grow and reach their potential. I am so excited to join the SPS Team and I cannot wait to get started in meeting all of our students, school communities and staff.”

Phyllis Byrum, chair of the Suffolk School Board, believes Gordon will be a great fit for the division. She stated, “We welcome Dr. Gordon to Suffolk Public Schools and we are excited for the great things that will come under his leadership for the future of the school division and the broader community.”

Dr. Gordon has been in public education since 1995 when he began his career as a substitute teacher and basketball coach on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Working in the elementary level, as a 5th grade teacher in Salisbury, Maryland, and at the secondary level as a high school history teacher in both Richmond and Chesterfield, Virginia, Dr. Gordon taught with energy and creativity that led to high levels of student involvement and learning in the classroom. He brought the same level of detail, creativity, and passion throughout his years as a high school basketball coach at Armstrong and Meadowbrook High School, winning numerous championships over a 10-year career. 

He moved into administration in 2005, where he served as the dean of students at Meadowbrook High School. In the 2007-08 school year, Dr. Gordon was promoted to assistant principal at Meadowbrook High School, and after he retired from coaching, transferred to Monacan High School where he also served as an assistant principal.  Dr. Gordon served as principal of James Monroe High School in Fredericksburg, Virginia from 2009 to 2014. The school improvement plan at James Monroe focused on closing the achievement gap, and increasing minority student achievement in advanced and honors classes. During his final year as principal, James Monroe High School was rated in the top 7 percent of high schools by U.S. News & World Report.  

Due to his successful tenure as principal, Dr. Gordon served as the director of administrative services for Fredericksburg City Public Schools from 2014 to 2017. In this role, he brought the International Baccalaureate program to Fredericksburg City Public Schools and led the renovation of the Walker-Grant Center, the original African-American high school for the city of Fredericksburg.  During his time in Fredericksburg, Dr. Gordon also served as an adjunct professor at Eastern Mennonite University, University of Mary Washington, and University of Virginia.

He also has led several engaging professional learning sessions for the Virginia Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Virginia Education Association, and Virginia School Boards Association, such as How to Instruct African-American Males, Culturally Responsive Instruction, and The Perspective-Recruiting Educators of Color.

In 2017, Dr. Gordon spread his message of inspiration and transformational leadership as the chief of schools for Chesterfield County Public Schools. In every year of his tenure, Dr. Gordon led Chesterfield County Public Schools to 100% accreditation, the development of the Administrative Lead Program, the creation of theCCPS Leadership Framework, with a focus on principal talent management. Dr. Gordon has worked closely with theNew York City Leadership Academy, where he has written two articles: How One Virginia District is Developing Principal Supervisors to Transform Schools, and Strategic Equity Planning Makes a Difference for Our Students. 

He also wrote his first book in April 2019, The Teacher’s Lounge: The Real Role of Educators in Your Schools, that takes a 40-year walk through the field of education as told through the lens of an African-American boy from the suburbs of Richmond.  Dr. Gordon is also the president of Schools That Inspire, LLC, an educational consulting firm designed to inspire a generation, one student at a time.

Dr. John B. Gordon III earned his bachelor’s degree from University of Virginia in 1995, his master’s degree with a concentration in social studies from University of Virginia in 2000, a post-master’s certificate in educational leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2007, and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from Virginia Tech in 2012.

He is married to his wife Shavonne of 22 years, and they have three children, Marcus (28), Kennedy (15), and Simone (10.)

css.php