A former principal will become Fairfax City schools superintendent in July.
The city school board selected Clifton resident Peter Noonan, a 20-year school administration veteran, to take over after just over two months of searching. School board members will finalize his contract during their March 5 meeting.
"I have aspired to be a superintendent for several years and Fairfax City Schools is a perfect match for me," he said. "The schools are beacons of excellence in the community and I want to work in a place that supports public education the way Fairfax does."
Noonan, assistant superintendent of Instructional Services for Fairfax County Public Schools, is no stranger to Fairfax City schools. He's served as assistant superintendent for FCPS Cluster VII (city schools included), as well as Lanier principal from 2002-2004.
"In each of the positions held I have been able to see things from both the operational and policy perspective," he said. "Being able to navigate both worlds effectively, and communicate that well is a skill I have gained over my career."
City school board members started the search for a new superintendent shortly after current . They closed the interview process on Jan. 31 and spent February evaluating the candidates. The decision to choose Noonan was made in the last 10 days.
"We were particularly interested in finding someone with a good relationship with FCPS, familiarity with the City of Fairfax schools as well experience as a school administrator. Hiring a school superintendent is 'THE' major responsibility of any school board," said Janice Miller, chair of the City of Fairfax School Board.
Noonan has only a few months to transition from overseeing the academic achievement of over 177,000 FCPS students to answering to Fairfax City's significantly smaller (but no less difficult) school system.
"I think the way my life will change, in very positive terms, will be having a chance to develop strong working relationships with a five-member board, the incredible city school principals, and the Fairfax City community."
He'll have his hands full handling with city's relationship with FCPS during back-to-back tough budget years. Last year the county surprised Fairfax City with an .
"I believe that all great things happen as a result of strong relationships," Noonan said. "My first big task, as I move to this position in July, is to build on existing and establish new relationships with the City while at the same time enhancing and refining my existing relationships with the county school system."
Then, he added, it's on to setting collective district-wide priorities with the school board and principals.
"Mrs. Monday leaves big shoes to fill and I believe that Peter Noonan is the best man to follow her," Miller said. "The board looks forward to a productive working relationship with Peter. Our community and students will be well served.”