By a unanimous vote at a special meeting on Monday, May 21, the Board of School Directors of the Norristown Area School District appointed current Assistant Superintendent Christopher T. Dormer as the next Superintendent of Schools.
The hiring of Dormer as assistant superintendent in 2016 was the result of an extensive search, with significant community input and involvement, conducted by Dr. Joseph O’Brien, the Executive Director of the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU). The Board has engaged the CCIU to conduct a similarly exhaustive search for Mr. Dormer’s successor as Assistant Superintendent.
“The hiring of Mr. Dormer as our next superintendent is the culmination of a two-year process,” noted Ms. Turea Hutson, president of the Board. “In 2016, our charge to the Chester County Intermediate Unit was to find us not just an Assistant Superintendent, but the eventual successor to Dr. Samuels. “
Dormer was selected out of 37 candidates, including two other finalists, in an interview process that lasted over four months and included multiple community focus groups and meetings. “This was a rigorous process,” said Hutson. “Three of our Board Members have education backgrounds, and one with a background in administration, and Mr. Dormer met all of our expectations in the interview process. For the past two years, has performed extremely well as our Assistant Superintendent.”
Dr. O’Brien concurred with Ms. Hutson: “When we were engaged to conduct the search that led
to Chris Dormer, we were looking for a skill set that would enable the Assistant Superintendent to become the next Superintendent of the Norristown Area School District, and that is exactly what happened.”
Mr. Dormer started his administrative leadership career in 2005 as an Assistant Principal at Upper Darby High School, where he was named the 2008 Pennsylvania Assistant Principal of the Year.
That same year, he became the Principal at Upper Darby, were he implemented a Freshman Academy cut freshman retention by 60% and increased proficiency by 15 percent. In 2013, he became Principal of Oxford Area High School, where he designed and implemented Early College Academy, which allowed students to earn an associate’s degree with their high school diploma.
Since arriving at Norristown as the Assistant Superintendent in 2016, Mr. Dormer has redesigned the curriculum, and taking a lead in getting more STEM instruction and opportunities for NASD students. In addition, he helped to secure the Sprint 1 Million Project Foundation grant, which will provide free, high speed Internet access to 880 students at NAHS.
Said Mr. Dormer, “I am truly humbled and honored to be appointed the next Superintendent of the Norristown Area School District. I want to thank the Board for their support and confidence in me as well as their unwavering commitment to the students, staff, and families of this incredible community. I am excited to engage and partner with all stakeholders in my new role to provide the very best opportunities for sustained growth, life-long learning, and adding to the district’s rich history of excellence.”
“We will miss Dr. Samuels greatly,” said Ms. Hutson. “However, under Mr. Dormer’s leadership, we are confident that the District will continue to move in a positive direction and are very optimistic about the future.”