Office of the Superintendent
Melinda Boone was appointed Norfolk’s first permanent female superintendent, bringing her back to the district where she formerly served as Chief of Academics Officer and Executive Director of Elementary Schools. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Boone was superintendent of Worcester Public Schools in Worcester, MA – the state’s third-largest school district, from 2009 – 2015. She held the distinction of being the first female superintendent in that district as well.
Dr. Boone has served as a speech and language pathologist for Suffolk Public Schools in Suffolk, Virginia; Director of Special Education/Pupil Services for Franklin City Public Schools in Franklin, Virginia; Coordinator of Pupil Personnel and Testing for Suffolk Public Schools; and Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services with the Isle of Wight County Public Schools in Virginia. Dr. Boone holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Disorders with a pre-med emphasis from Hampton Institute (now University), a Master of Arts in Audiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a Certificate of Advanced Studies from Old Dominion University, and a Doctor of Education from the College of William and Mary. Dr. Boone is a 2004 fellow of The Broad Urban Superintendents Academy.
Dr. Boone built upon Worcester’s history of success in a way that was transforming Worcester Public Schools into the preferred educational choice for families. Dr. Boone recognizes that accelerating student achievement and closing the achievement gap for students requires the capacity and commitment of the district, schools, and community. Dr. Boone redesigned the organizational structure of the school district to align district departments and systems with school improvement. Four key divisions supported this work: Finance & Operations; Teaching, Learning & Student Supports; Research and Accountability; & Human Resources. The function of each division provides leadership across the system to generate improved student results.
Development of a strong portfolio of school options for parents and to advance student achievement led Dr. Boone to embrace Innovation Schools through the Act Relative to the Achievement Gap. In Massachusetts, Worcester led the Commonwealth with the establishment of six Innovation Schools and two Innovation Academies. Additionally, she restructured a school in danger of becoming chronically underperforming, outside of any State requirement to do so. That school just recently received one of the State’s first Innovation Planning Grants.
Under Dr. Boone’s leadership, a strong set of fiscal practices occurred, resulting in the School Committee adopting a “Seven Point Financial Plan for Advancing Student Achievement and Program Sustainability.” The District’s FY14 Budget received the prestigious “Meritorious Budget Award” from the Association of School Business Officials International.
Dr. Boone was very active in the Worcester Community. She was a Board Member of United Way of Central Massachusetts, Board Member of the Worcester Public Library Foundation, and a Leadership Team Member of Pioneering Healthier Communities. She was co-chair of the Urban Superintendents’ Network and a former member of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. Dr. Boone has just been appointed to the Board of Directors of the United Way of South Hampton Roads, building her community connections here in Norfolk. Dr. Boone has received many awards - a 2012 Erskine Award Recipient sponsored by the YWCA, 2014 Recipient of the Order of Odd Fellows and the Rebekah Assembly of Massachusetts “Community Leadership Award”, and the Greater Worcester Chapter Hadassah “Woman of Distinction” Award. Dr. Boone received the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents (MASS) President’s Award in May 2014 and the Life Leadership Service Award by the Institute for Global Leadership. She is also a life member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.