Office of the Superintendent
Dr. Sharon I. Byrdsong was appointed as the Acting Superintendent of Schools by the School Board of the City of Norfolk on June 19, 2019, and she officially assumed the duties of the chief executive on July 6, 2019. Dr. Byrdsong’s tenure with Norfolk Public Schools spans over a period of twenty years.
Dr. Byrdsong is a highly experienced, award-winning professional who has worked her way through the ranks of the field of education, with making a difference in the lives of children as the cornerstone of her work. Dr. Byrdsong’s career began in the classroom as a high school teacher in the Wake County Public School System upon graduating magna cum laude from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree. During her tenure as a classroom teacher, Dr. Byrdsong was honored with the North Carolina State University Marketing Educator Award; named as a Sallie Mae First Year Outstanding Teacher Award nominee; and received the Wilmington Jaycees Outstanding Young Educator Award. Because Dr. Byrdsong demonstrated both a high level of success as a classroom teacher and effective leadership skills, she was awarded a North Carolina Principal Fellowship from the North Carolina General Assembly to pursue and complete education and training to serve as a school administrator. Dr. Byrdsong had the fortunate experience of completing some of her professional training as a school administrator on Camp Lejeune, North Carolina with the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Schools.
Upon receiving a Master of School Administration (MSA) degree from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Dr. Byrdsong went on to serve as a high school assistant principal before moving with her family to the Hampton Roads area. She was then appointed as the assistant principal of Northside Middle School within Norfolk Public Schools; and one year later, she was promoted as the principal of Azalea Gardens Middle School (AGMS) within the school division. During Dr. Byrdsong’s tenure as the principal of AGMS, she was able to successfully turnaround this school, which was once deemed as a low-performing school by the school division and the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). Dr. Byrdsong’s turnaround efforts eventually resulted in Azalea Gardens Middle School being named a “Virginia School to Watch” by the Virginia Middle School Association. Her visionary leadership efforts were celebrated within Norfolk Public Schools, as her colleagues honored her with the NPS Leadership and Vision Inspiration Award. In 2005, Dr. Byrdsong was named the Outstanding Middle School Principal of Virginia by the Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals (VASSP); and in 2006, she was the recipient of the National Middle School Principal of the Year Award by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). These awards resulted from Dr. Byrdsong’s demonstration of excellence in improving student achievement, with a focus on closing achievement gaps; improving the overall learning environment; resolving complex problems involving the local school community; and ensuring high expectations for all students.
In addition to school building level experience, Dr. Byrdsong has extensive experience at the central administration level in both the areas of instruction and operations. Dr. Byrdsong’s experiences as a central office administrator include serving in the role of: senior director of alternative options; executive director of secondary schools; executive director of human resources; assistant superintendent of human resources; chief of staff; and executive director of interagency collaboration and wraparound services. Dr. Byrdsong demonstrated effective, transformational leadership in each of these roles.
Dr. Byrdsong holds a Division Superintendent License and a Postgraduate Professional License from the Virginia Board of Education and a Doctor of Education from Regent University, where she was the recipient of the Outstanding Aluma of the First Decade of the 2000’s Award. After serving twenty years with Norfolk Public Schools, Dr. Byrdsong is delighted to be named the Acting Superintendent of Schools. Dr. Byrdsong is strongly invested in the school division and the community and is committed to improving academic achievement and outcomes for all students of Norfolk Public Schools.