Manassas Park City Schools Leader Says Farewell to School District
Dr. Thomas H. DeBolt retires after more than 15 years with Manassas Park City Schools
The man who has lead "the little school district that could" for more than 15 years, said his final farewells to faculty and staff of Manassas Park City Schools during an emotional ceremony held Tuesday afternoon.
"What a beautiful ride it has been," said Dr. Thomas H. DeBolt, retired superintendent of Manassas Park City Schools.
"I've been surrounded by people who care about children."
DeBolt has been an educator for more than 40 years with more than a decade spent fulfilling his dream of making the schools in Manassas Park competitive with that of other school districts in Virginia.
Under his direction every school in Manassas Park was rebuilt. One school, Manassas Park Elementary, was recently named a LEED Gold Certificated school, for its innovative and environmentally- friendly building design.
The revitalization of the school district prompted a book, "The Little School District That Could," to be written.
DeBolt said he believed that Manassas Park school children were receiving an inferior education.
"They needed someone to fight for them," DeBolt said." ... What was happening was close to criminal."
DeBolt, a self-proclaimed lover of fine arts, pushed for fine arts and music education in the school district because he said it improves the intellect of children.
The Manassas Park City Schools School Board held a special meeting Tuesday afternoon in front of an assembly of educators and family and moved to name the Manassas Park Middle School auditorium in honor of DeBolt.
"You mean so much to me," DeBolt said. "I've had the unique opportunity to gather some good people. The children will change, the parents will change but you are the heart of this school system."
The sign bearing the auditorium's name was unveiled at the school shortly after.